Greenville named sportiest city in the U.S.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A mobile shopping app has named Greenville the sportiest city in the U.S. based on how much people spend on sporting equipment.

Mobile shopping app Ibotta analyzed consumer spending from more than 50 million user receipts since 2012. Purchases considered sporty fell under sports and energy drinks, sports apparel, balls and sports equipment, and sporting goods. It found compared to the rest of the country, Greenville residents are 40% more likely to make a sporty purchase each time they go shopping.

City leaders, including Greenville/Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Andrew Schmidt, say they’re not surprised.

“I think youth sports contributes a lot to it because parents are consistently spending money on equipment, travel for youth sports, travel team baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball… Those are all huge industries now,” Schmidt said.

In the last fiscal year, 31 youth sports tournaments held in the city brought in about $3.6 million for the local economy. The city is hoping to capitalize on this growth, currently working to bring a multi-use sports complex to Greenville.

9 On Your Side went to a local sports equipment store to find out what they’re seeing. Workers at Play It Again Sports say they’re seeing growing interest from various groups, but they agree with city leaders.

“In this store, we see a lot of families. Our local families, kids aging from 8 to 15, 16 years old. Youth sports are definitely going to be the largest purchase in this store,” said Play It Again Sports Team Leader Travis Wooten.

In years past, Greenville was named Sportstown USA of North Carolina. It’s also been called BMX Protown USA.

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