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Traveling sports families boost local economies

Sports families often spend much of their time traveling, which has led to a billion dollar niche travel industry. Parents invest thousands of dollars each year for their children to participate in travel teams, and the industry continues to grow by 3 to 5 percent annually, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions.

The organization found that the industry has grown 6.5 percent since 2010, and traveling families spent more than $7.68 billion. This unique industry is increasingly beneficial for local economies, as players and their families visit establishments and some need accommodations. This benefits the local economy, produces new jobs and taxes.

While traveling sports teams may cost families a pretty penny as well, many believe the benefits outweigh the sacrifices.

"We do this because our family loves sports; it's who we are, and it's where our friends are as well," Andy Brim, parent of three boys who play lacrosse, hockey and football, told The Columbus Dispatch. "I grew up in Buffalo loving hockey, and I could play my games at a rink 15 miles away. Now, you have to go to Buffalo from here to find the games or ice to play against similar competition."

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