Raising Their Game

By Sarah Gassel May 31, 2012

Bradenton’s IMG Academies, which began in 1978 as Nick Bollettieri’s tennis school, has grown into a massive sports and educational complex that spans 450 acres. In addition to offering training in seven sports, the most popular being tennis, golf and soccer, IMG provides K-12 college preparatory education to more than 700 students through its Pendleton School.

IMG acquired El Conquistador Country Club, now known as IMG Academies Golf and Country Club, in 2009. In April, the Manatee County Commission voted 7-0 in favor of granting IMG’s request to rezone 220 acres of farmland it purchased from Manatee Fruit Company last year. IMG can now implement its 10-year “master plan for growth,” which will include the construction of new dormitories and potentially more sports facilities.

IMG’s expansion over the next decade could provide an economic windfall to Bradenton, according to results of a 2011 Fishkind & Associates study. The report estimates that IMG currently has an economic impact on Bradenton of more than $160 million (a figure that includes the spending of IMG, IMG students, their families and event participants), a number that could rise to nearly $350 million by 2020.

IMG Academies Map

FAST Facts

Number of full-time students: 729

Number of international students: 430

Number of students from Mexico: 52; China/Hong Kong: 49; India: 39

Ratio of male to female students: 3 to 1

Percentage of IMG graduates accepted into Division 1 (highest level of intercollegiate athletics) schools: 50

Average national Division 1 acceptance rate for high-school student athletes: 5 percent

Number of full-time employees: 640

Estimated annual economic impact: $160 million-plus

Annual cost of attendance for high-school age boarder in golf program: $77,960; for a non-boarder in the tennis program: $53,850*

Number of NFL players who train annually at IMG: 100-plus**

List of sports: tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, basketball, football and lacrosse

Percentage of IMG students’ families who relocate to the area for an average of three years: 35

Number of annual IMG sporting events: 70-plus

Number of participants, coaches and spectators who visit the community for IMG events: 100,000-plus

Number of hotel rooms reserved for IMG events annually: 25,000-plus


*Includes tuition for sports academy, room and board, competition/training gear fee and tuition at IMG Pendleton School

**Includes 30-plus NFL-bound athletes who enroll in NFL combine/draft training program

SOURCE: IMG Academies

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