BMX To Bring $13 Million Economic Impact

ROCK HILL, SC — Tuesday, nearly 25,000 people from 48 different countries will pack Rock Hill for the BMX World Championships.

It’s the first time the event has come to the U.S. in 16 years.

Owners of bars like Heartland’s stocked up on food and booze. They also hired more servers.

“We doubled,” said Heartland’s Owner Rommel Santos. “We doubled all the orders beer and food.”

Hotels are booked, parametics and police added crews to the track.

Mayor Doug Echols expects a $13 million economic impact over the next week.

“Just fantastic when you think about it,” said Mayor Echosl. “Impact includes the whole reagion. Not just Rock Hill, but all York County and up into Mecklenburg County.”

It’s the reason Rock Hill built the $7.8 million complex in 2014 using the two percent food and beverage tax to pay for it.

“Sports have really become a big business for the city of Rock Hilll, and that translates into the Charlotte region,” said Rock Hill Communications Manager Katie Quinn. “Hotels are packed from Rock Hill all the whole way into Charlotte.”

Over the next 10 years, the city expects sports tourism to have a $157 million impact.

For this championship, you’ll notice 20,000 fans and 3,700 competitors of all ages. Rock Hill says there are more than 1,000 translators volunteering to help communication.

“We’ve got 330 riders just from Australia, and also France’s team, they’ve got 250. So, that’s just us two,” said Kyle Ownekawa from Australia.

That’s why local spots like Heartland’s expect a 40 percent increase in sales this week.

York County residents get in free to the games on Saturday when elite Olympian bikers are racing.