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THE SPORTS WORLD’S EVENT MAGAZINE February 2017 | Vol. 21, No. 2 | $5.00

CE LE BR A TI N

On the Waterfront

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TW W EN N TY T Y EA A RS R 19 97 -2 01 7

Bass fishing events extend well beyond the shore | 21

Q&A:

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley The Olympic champion on engaging youth in sports | 24

TURN OF

EVENTS Several World Cup ski races return to the United States for the first time in years | 10


As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, SportsTravel congratulates the NASC on its 25th anniversary! Coming in March: “The Legacy of NASC” CE LE BR AT IN

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AR S TW EN TY YE 19 97 -2 01 7


Inside

Reese Brown/USSA

February 2017

10 Cover Story

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Sports p Spotlight: p g

Bass Fishing 7KDQNVWRWKHLULQFUHDVLQJ SRSXODULW\EDVVÀVKLQJ HYHQWVKDYHWKHDELOLW\WR GUDZELJFURZGVWRWKH waterfront and at indoor YHQXHVDVZHOO

21 Destination Feature:

The Great Plains 'HVWLQDWLRQVLQ,RZD .DQVDV0LVVRXUL 1HEUDVND1RUWK'DNRWD and South Dakota are not DIUDLGWREHFUHDWLYH ZKLFKKHOSVNHHSHYHQW RUJDQL]HUVFRPLQJEDFN

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4 From the Publisher The SportsTravel Road Trip will feature LQVLJKWVRQKRZWREHDQHÍ¿HFWLYHOHDGHU

6 Press Box 1HZVIURPWKHVSRUWVHYHQWLQGXVWU\

7 The Leadership Coach $NH\OLIHOHVVRQLVOHDUQLQJWRGHDO ZLWKORVV ³ ERWKRQDQGRͿWKHÀHOG

8 Governing Body Dossier 7KH,QWHUQDWLRQDO3DUDO\PSLF&RPPLWWHH UHEUDQGVWKHVSRUWVWKDWLWRYHUVHHV

16 The Pre & The Post 7KH86$&XUOLQJ1DWLRQDOVWDNHRͿLQ (YHUHWW:DVKLQJWRQ2UODQGRRQFHDJDLQ SURYHVDJRRGÀWIRUWKH$.&1DWLRQDOV

20 Ask The Event Doctor :KDWVPDOOHYHQWVFDQOHDUQIURPELJ HYHQWVDQGKRZWRHQFRXUDJHSDUWLFLSDQWV WRVWD\LQ\RXUKRWHOURRPEORFNV

33 Winners and Losers $PHULFDQVQHHGDVSRUWLQJHYHQWWKDW ZLOOKDYHIDQVURRWLQJIRUWKHVDPHWHDP

34 Bid Bowl

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley

24

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SportsTravelMagazine.com

'HWDLOVRQVSRUWLQJHYHQWVXSIRUELG ON THE COVER: Mikaela Shiffrin, 21, is a rising star who trails only Lindsey Vonn in U.S. women’s World Cup wins. Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports

February 2017

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From the Publisher

Road Trip Leads the Way

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s we continue to celebrate 20 years of serving the people who organize and manage sporting events, SportsTravel is proud to announce a return to Colorado Springs for the fourth annual SportsTravel Road Trip. Sponsored by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, the SportsTravel Road Trip will be held May 16 – 17 at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s headquarters.

Designed for sports organization CEOs and event directors, the SportsTravel Road Trip will begin with an afternoon of educational programming on Tuesday, May 16. The fastpaced, custom-curated education will include a facilitated peer-to-peer exchange and conclude with an informal networking reception.

TIM SCHNEIDER

Publisher

Timothy Schneider Editor

Jason Gewirtz Executive Editor

Ann Shepphird Senior Associate Editor

Jennifer Lee Digital, Social Media & Web Editor

Timothy Maxwell Video Content Producer

Javier Mosquera Contributors

Rachel Carter, Mark Essig, Neal Reid, John Vivirito and Tasha Zemke Art Director

Hagit Worona Graphic Designer

Danielle Grimes Chief Content OfďŹ cer

Jen Rottenberg Director of Marketing

Yvonne Garcia

During the May 16 program, Jim Knowlton, Air Force Academy director of athletics, will present a session on leadership and character-building. In his position at the Academy, Knowlton oversees 27 intercollegiate varsity sports, the Physical Education Program, Intramural and Club Programs and all physical testing. Prior to joining the Air Force Academy in March 2015, Knowlton served as the director of athletics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. During his tenure, he was responsible for overseeing the institute’s 12 men’s and 11 women’s NCAA intercollegiate varsity teams and three junior varsity squads, involving more than 600 student-athletes, as well as intramural sports. He helped develop the strategic vision for the athletic department, implemented a new athletics branding initiative and facilitated renovations to the Houston Field House and the construction of the PLOOLRQÀUVWSKDVHRI5HQVVHODHU¡V(DVW&DPSXV$WKOHWLF9LOODJH

Account Directors

Scott Buccola (Great Lakes Region) Teri Burke (Central U.S.) Barbara Dunn (Northeastern U.S.) Ilana Edell (Western U.S.) Cheryl Edwards (Southeastern U.S.) Sales, Marketing & Events Assistant

Helen Steinhauser Director of Industry Relations

Steven Hacker, CAE, CEM, FASAE Event Organizer Liaison

Nicole Goddeyne OfďŹ ce Manager

After 10 years of organizational leadership positions in the U.S. Army, Knowlton received a master’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University. He returned to West Point, where he received his bachelor’s degree, to teach in the civil and mechanical engineering department and eventually led a battalion of 750 men and women while stationed in Ft. Carson, Colorado, before being deployed to Iraq. On Wednesday, May 17, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the Colorado Springs Sports Corp’s Golf Tournament, which will be held at the Country Club of Colorado at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The club is home to an 18-hole championship course set against a backdrop of the scenic Rocky Mountains. The tournament will conclude with a luncheon and an awards presentation. The SportsTravel Road Trip is a by-invitation-only event. To request your invitation, please call (877) 577-3700. In addition to the educational and networking opportunities available at the SportsTravel5RDG7ULSZHDUHDOVRSOHDVHGWRRͿHUDYDULHW\RIVSRUWVVSHFLÀF programming at the TEAMS Conference & Expo, the world’s largest gathering of sports-event organizers. Save the dates for TEAMS ’17, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, October 30–November 2, and TEAMS ’18, which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, October 1–4, 2018. For additional information, please see the ad on pages 18–19, call (877) 577-3700 or visit TEAMSconference.com.

Martha VillaseĂąor Email Addresses:

ďŹ rstname.lastname@schneiderpublishing.com

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Paul Anderson National Sports Law Institute Meg Bernardo Association of SurďŹ ng Professionals Rick Bratman Aggressive Skaters Association Hill Carrow Sports & Properties, Inc. Anita DeFrantz International Olympic Committee Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Ph.D. The George Washington University Stephen Ducoff Association of Chief Executives for Sport Ken Hackmeister International Softball Congress Jim Kahler Ohio University Craig Masback Nike Mike Millay Clancy’s Sports Properties Chris Overholt Canadian Olympic Committee Dick Schultz Marketing Associates International Don Schumacher National Association of Sports Commissions Mike Unger USA Swimming Tim Yount USA Triathlon Copyright Š 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1091-5354 SportsTravel is a registered trademark of Schneider Publishing.

11835 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 1265 Los Angeles, CA 90064 Tel: (310) 577-3700 Fax: (310) 577-3715 SchneiderPublishing.com R E D U C E • R E U S E • R E C Y C L E Printed in the U.S.A. with soy inks on paper stock certiďŹ ed by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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SportsTravelMagazine.com


Experience the Difference Atlantic City, New Jersey: March 14 – 15, 2017

Exclusive meetings-industry training facilitated by the “Association Doctor,” Steven Hacker, former president of the International Association of Exhibitions & Events

Inspirational keynote address from seven-time Olympic medalist, Shannon Miller

Fun and productive networking events that will enable you to experience host cities while building your knowledge base and circle of professional contacts

Fast-moving, appointment-based trade show that allows you to efficiently meet with hotels, venues, suppliers and convention bureaus

Coming Soon: Plano, Texas . Mississippi Gulf Coast Multi-Year Sponsors

To register, call (877) 577-3700 or visit MeetingsQuest.com


Sports Organizations Jamie Davis has been named CEO of USA Volleyball. He is the seventh CEO of the national governing body and the ÀUVWWREHKLUHGIURP outside the organizaJAMIE DAVIS tion. Davis founded Jomandrew Sports and Entertainment LLC and was president of Fanatics Inc., the online retailer of sports merchandise. He also served as president of the Versus television network (now NBC Sports Network). He succeeds Doug Beal, who retired in January. Chuck Wielgus has announced that he will retire as executive director of USA Swimming, effective August 31, after serving 20 years as the leader CHUCK WIELGUS of the national governing body. Wielgus has led USA Swimming since 1997 and became CEO of its foundation in 2004. He is currently the longest-tenured chief executive in the U.S. Olympic movement. During his tenure, USA Swimming’s athletes won more than 150 Olympic medals and the group’s membership doubled to more than 400,000 members. Dave Ogrean has announced that he will retire as executive director of USA Hockey on August 1 but will remain with the organization in an advisory capacity. DAVE OGREAN Ogrean has served as executive director since August 2005 and also held the position from 1993 – 1999. He began his professional career with the organization (then the Amateur Hockey Association of the U.S.) in 1978. Ogrean also served as president and CEO of the Colorado Springs 6

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Travel Ban Elicits USOC Response The USOC gets assurance for athletes to receive “expedited access� while mayor of L.A. speaks out against executive order

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he U.S. Olympic Committee says it has received assurance from the United States government that athletes and officials traveling to the country for HYHQWVIURPQDWLRQVDÍżHFWHGE\3UHVLGHQW'RQDOG7UXPS¡V executive order on immigration will get â&#x20AC;&#x153;expedited accessâ&#x20AC;? to participate. And while LA 2024, the group bidding to host the 2024 Olympic DQG3DUDO\PSLF6XPPHU*DPHVGLGQRWUHOHDVHDQRÎ&#x20AC;FLDOUHVSRQVHWRWKHRUGHU L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement opposing the action. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are in a moment that we will look back on and ask ourselves what we did to stand up, speak out and live up to our values,â&#x20AC;? he said. The issue of athlete travel to events in the United States became an immediate concern following the order. In a statement, USOC Chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun said they had received numerous inquiries about the impact of the ban, which stops travel for 90 days by nationals from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, /LE\D6RPDOLD6XGDQDQG<HPHQDQGLQGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\EDQVUHIXJHHVIURP6\ULD â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like the United States, the Olympic movement was founded based upon principles of diversity and inclusion, of opportunity and overcoming adversity,â&#x20AC;? the USOC said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As the steward of the Olympic movement in the United 6WDWHVZHHPEUDFHWKRVHYDOXHV:HDOVRDFNQRZOHGJHWKHGLÎ&#x20AC;FXOWWDVNRISURviding for the safety and security of a nation. It is our sincere hope that the executive order as implemented will appropriately recognize the values on which our nation, as well as the Olympic movement, were founded.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jason Gewirtz Sports Corporation and deputy executive director of marketing for the United States Olympic Committee. A new executive director is expected to be in place in time for USA Hockeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Annual Congress, which is scheduled for June 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 in Colorado Springs. Glenn Merry has announced his retirement as chief executive officer of U.S. Rowing, effective April 15. Merry joined U.S. Rowing in 1994 and was GLENN MERRY named CEO in 2005. Following his departure, Merry plans to launch JaClarre, Inc., in late 2017, a company whose focus will be on integrating sports into youth learning development.

Michael Jaquet has resigned as chief marketing officer of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Jaquet previously served as vicepresident for cable sports sales at CBS. USSA is expected to appoint a new chief marketing officer prior to its partner summit in June. Pedro Meloni has been appointed senior manager of events at USA Weightlifting. Meloni previously served as the weightlifting and Paralympic powerlifting manager at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. The LPGA Tour has announced the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship, which will be staged July 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12 at the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. It will SportsTravelMagazine.com


be televised live on the Golf Channel. The field of 81 players will include LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members, current LPGA members and major champions over the age of 45. The Professional Bowlers Association has renewed its partnership agreement with the Professional Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bowling Association. The PBA will conduct regional competitions and provide player services, and will also offer live event coverage of the PWBA tour through Xtra Frame, its online video streaming service. NASCAR has unveiled a new brand identity, which will replace its bar

mark, used since 1976. In addition, the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier series will now be named the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Hosts & Suppliers Ken Lawson has been appointed president and CEO of Visit Florida. A Florida native and former U.S. Marine Corps judge advocate general, Lawson KEN LAWSON most recently served as secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Lawson succeeds former president and CEO Will Seccombe, who resigned amid a controversial $1 million tourism promotion contract with the rapper Pitbull. Steve Hammond has announced that he will retire as president and CEO of Visit Sacramento (California), HÍżHFWLYH-XQH+DPPRQGKDVKHOG the position with the convention and visitors bureau since 1999. During Hammondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tenure, the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s convention and sports sales have increased by 78 percent and its operating budget has grown from $2.2 million to $11 million. His successor is expected to be announced this spring. SportsTravelMagazine.com

THE LEADERSHIP COACH

Learning From Losing

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he idea of giving a trophy to every child who participates in sporting events has expanded greatly in recent years. Psychiatrists say losing damages a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s psyche. I totally disagree. There are a number of reasons why I believe the practice should be stopped. One key reason is that learning to lose is part of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development as a wellrounded individual. Good coaches stress that one never really loses. Instead, we either win or we learn. I believe that this is a good way to think. Insisting that â&#x20AC;&#x153;winning is everythingâ&#x20AC;? sends the wrong sig-

nal. Maybe in its place we should be saying that â&#x20AC;&#x153;learning is everything.â&#x20AC;? Winners should learn to be gracious in victory, and losers can learn what they have to do to get better. This is a simple fact of life. Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has said that the educational system should teach kids about losing and I agree with him. That is reality. We lose friends, jobs, games, leaders, money and more over the course of our lives. Life itself is a series of losses. And the real life lesson we can all learn is how we deal with those losses.

The Leadership Coach is Peter Burwash, founder of Peter Burwash International, which manages tennis instruction programs worldwide. His books are available through the Media Zone at SportsTravelMagazine.com. He can be reached at leadershipcoach@schneiderpublishing.com.

Jim Riggs has been named director of WKHVHDW2ZHQVERUR6SRUWVFHQWHU in Owensboro, Kentucky. Riggs has experience managing a number of professional sports teams in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, American Hockey League and Arena Football 2. Crista Tompson has been appointed sports sales manager of the Detroit Sports Commission. Tompson brings PRUHWKDQ\HDUVRIH[SHULHQFHLQ the sports tourism industry to her new role, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing at the Century Center in South Bend, Indiana. Prior to that, Tompson served as a sales manager at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center. Chris Giacomucci has been named executive director of DE Turf, which operates the 12-field sports facility in Frederica, Delaware. He most recently served as interim executive director of the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corporation in Delaware.

Univision Communications Inc. has announced the creation of the inaugural Prospects Cup, a tournament that will bring 16 U-12 soccer teams from around the world to compete for a yo u th wo rl d championship in December       7 K H Prospects Cup will feature eight teams from the United States and eight from Mexico, South America and Europe. Produced by UCI Live, a new Univision marketing unit, the tournament will be sanctioned through the United States Soccer Federation.

Sites & Venues The NFLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s San Diego Chargers have announced their move to Los Angeles EHJLQQLQJZLWKWKHVHDVRQ7KH February 2017

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GOVERNING BODY DOSSIER

IPC Rebrands 10 Paralympic Sports With New Names

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International Paralympic Committee

en sports governed by the people make an immediate connection International Paralympic Com- with the activity. mittee have been given new Beyond the names and pictures, logos and new names, a significant IPC officials are hoping that the shift designed to increase awareness rebranding will be beneficial for host of the sports and allow host cities to cities as well, especially when it comes better capitalize on their association to how event logos are generated. In with championship events. the past, Schaefer said, event branding The move takes the acronym has been inconsistent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that â&#x20AC;&#x153;IPCâ&#x20AC;? out of the names of 10 Para- changes nowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with having the wordlympic sports that ing of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Paraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and the organization then the sport, is responsible for having the pictogram and having overseeing and the possibility in replaces them the event logo to with â&#x20AC;&#x153;World clearly bring out Paraâ&#x20AC;? in most your national cases. For example, IPC Poweridentity or lifting will now be regional objective known as World or other cultural In addition to rebranding sport names, Para Powerlifting objectives that you the IPC has created new pictograms for and IPC Alpine have as a host the Paralympic sports it oversees. Skiing becomes city,â&#x20AC;? he said. Name Shifts. Not all the sports, World Para Alpine Skiing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the last 10 years it was probably good for however, lent themselves to a simple us to have this very close link with shift to â&#x20AC;&#x153;World Para.â&#x20AC;? When it came the acronym directly linked to the time to rebrand IPC Shooting, memsport to build the reputation and bers of the sport were concerned that awareness for what the IPC is doing people might confuse â&#x20AC;&#x153;Para Shootoutside the Paralympic Games. But ingâ&#x20AC;? with parachuting. The new we believe that now for the growth of name? â&#x20AC;&#x153;World Shooting Para Sport.â&#x20AC;? the sports it is important that they â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we have found a good comhave something that speaks for promise there,â&#x20AC;? Schaefer said. Meanwhile, IPC Wheelchair Dance itself,â&#x20AC;? said Alexis Schaefer, the IPCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sport becomes World Para Dance commercial and marketing director. Consistent Goals. The moves Sport; the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;wheelchairâ&#x20AC;? was come after years of discussion of how taken out entirely, a move that will best to raise awareness of Paralympic make it easier in the future to incorposports. Many international federations rate a discipline for dancers wearing that oversee their own sportsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Para- prostheses. And for IPC Sledge lympic programs have already Hockey, the committee took advantage adopted the â&#x20AC;&#x153;paraâ&#x20AC;? construction in of a chance to settle an issue that for recent years, making IPCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rebranding years has been a matter of debate in the IRUWKHVSRUWVLWFRQWUROVDQDWXUDOĂ&#x20AC;W international ice hockey communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Schaefer said. (Other sports under the is it â&#x20AC;&#x153;sledgeâ&#x20AC;? hockey or â&#x20AC;&#x153;sledâ&#x20AC;? hockey? IPCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s control are athletics, shooting, Now the answer is â&#x20AC;&#x153;neither,â&#x20AC;? because swimming, biathlon, cross-country the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new name will be World skiing, sledge hockey, snowboarding Para Ice Hockey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe this gives and dance sport.) In addition, new pic- the sport a strong identity that helps tograms have been commissioned people to immediately recognize what showing images of the sports them- itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about,â&#x20AC;? Schaefer said. selves, another move designed to help â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jason Gewirtz

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team will play home games at StubHub Center in Carson, California, for two seasons before joining the Los Angeles Rams at their stadium, which is under construction in Inglewood and is expected to be complete in 2019. The NFL has scheduled four games in London in 2017. The times and dates for the first two games have been announced with the remaining two to be finalized in conjunction with the release of the 2017 NFL schedule. On September 24, the Baltimore Ravens will play the Jacksonville Jaguars, and on October 1, the New Orleans Saints will play the Miami Dolphins, both at Wembley Stadium. On October 22 or 29 at Twickenham Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings will play the Cleveland Browns, and the Arizona Cardinals will play the Los Angeles Rams. The United States Tennis Association National Campus

USTA NATIONAL CAMPUS

has opened at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Billing itself as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Home of American Tennis,â&#x20AC;? the facility combines USTA participation programs and USTA Player Development in one location for the first time. Located on 64 acres, the facility offers 102 tennis courts. The United States Golf Association has announced that Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, will host the 2021 Walker Cup Match and that Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California, will host the event in 2025. 7KH0D\PDWFKZLOOEHWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW 86*$HYHQWIRU6HPLQROHDQGWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW Walker Cup in Florida. The 50th Walker Cup Match will take place in September 2025, returning to Cypress 3RLQWIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPHVLQFH The NBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orlando Magic has agreed to purchase the NBA DevelSportsTravelMagazine.com


opment Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Erie (Pennsylvania) BayHawks, with plans to move the team to Lakeland, Florida. The team is scheduled to begin play during the 2017 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2018 season at the Lakeland Center. North Carolina Football Club has acquired the rights to the National Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Soccer League 2016 Champion Western New York Flash. Through the partnership, the club will be renamed North Carolina Courage and will play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, during the 2017 season. The U.S. Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Team will play in Group B at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team will open its tournament schedule on July 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by a game on July 12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The team will complete the group phase at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on July 15. WrestleMania 34 will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, April 8, 2018. The event was last held at the stadium in 2014, with 75,167 fans attending. USA Softball has announced the creation of the All-American Games, a tournament that will be staged at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, August 18 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20. The event will feature athletes in the 12-Under Junior Olympic fast-pitch division. The 2018 Freestyle World Cup has been awarded to USA Wrestling, which will host the event at Carver â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, April 21 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 22. The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships and features the top eight menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freestyle wrestling teams in the world. The inaugural Winter Iowa Senior Games will be held in the Quad Cities, which include Moline/East Moline along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport SportsTravelMagazine.com

on the Iowa side of the river. Seven sports will be featured and participation is open to all men and women ages 50 and above. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three individuals in each age group event.

Sponsors & Licensing Relevent Sports and Visit Orlando have announced a multiyear partnership to support and host the International Champions Cup, the first time the global summer soccer tournament KDVRÎ&#x20AC;FLDOO\DOLJQHGZLWKDGHVWLQDWLRQ marketing organization. Visit Orlando will be the exclusive U.S. tourism partner for the event. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has entered a partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers. As part of the agreement, the Clippers will showcase Hawaii throughout this season and conduct their pre-season training camp and two games in Honolulu this fall. The partnership kicked off with a Hawaii Night celebration at Staples Center. The game against the Memphis Grizzlies included Hawaiian music DQGKXODIUHVKĂ RZHUOHLVIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW 10,000 fans and pregame and halftime concerts by musician Willie K. Through a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, automotive manufacturer Toyota

will serve as the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix. The winter action sports tour will make three stops throughout the course of this season: Copper Mountain, Colorado; Solitude Mountain, Utah; and Mammoth Mountain, California. Under Armour, Fanatics and Major League Baseball have announced a 10-year partnership. Beginning in the 2020 MLB season, Under Armour will be the exclusive 0/%SURYLGHURIDOORQĂ&#x20AC;HOGXQLIRUP components. Fanatics will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing

and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear. New fan merchandise will be available for retail prior to the 2020 season. SportsPittsburgh, the sports development division of VisitPittsburgh, will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Atlantic 10 Conferenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s package of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball games, which will appear on Facebook Live. The agreement, made in conjunction with IMG, also encompasses other digital and social media elements, as well as the 2017 Atlantic 10 Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Basketball Championship, which will be staged at Pittsburghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PPG Paints Arena, March 8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12. The College Football Playoff Foundation has announced a partnership with the Football Bowl Association. The agreement will expand the reach of the Extra Yard for Teachers program into bowl games in 33 communities for the 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2017 season. The International Association of Athletics Federations and ASICS have announced a multiyear partnership. As official IAAF partner, the global designer and manufacturer of sporting goods will be present at and involved in all IAAF World Athletics Series events.

And Finallyâ&#x20AC;Ś The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has announced that Lenny Silberman is the recipient of its 2017 Chairmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award of ExcelLENNY SILBERMAN lence. Silberman VHUYHVDV&(2RIWKH+HQU\.DXÍżPDQ Campgrounds, which provides children with summer camp experiences in the greater New York area. He previously served as director of the Jewish Community Centers Maccabi Games and as a board member of the United States Olympic Committee. Silberman will be presented with the award this summer at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Edited by Jennifer Lee February 2017

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A near record number of Alpine World Cup events are being staged this season at ski resorts across the United States By Jason Gewirtz


Steven Nyman is one of the top-ranked menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alpine skiers on the U.S. team this season and is expected to compete at the ďŹ nals in Aspen, Colorado, in March. Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images


Reese Brown/ USSA

Cover Story

The Alpine World Cup events held in Killington, Vermont, in November attracted an estimated 30,000 spectators over two days. Tickets for grandstand seating sold out within hours.

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xecutives at Vermontâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Killington Resort had more than a year to market and create buzz around what would be WKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW),66NL:RUOG&XSLQ 1HZ(QJODQGLQ\HDUV:KLOHHDUO\ VLJQVSRLQWHGWRVWURQJLQWHUHVWIRUWKH ,QWHUQDWLRQDO6NL)HGHUDWLRQHYHQWKHOG RYHU7KDQNVJLYLQJZHHNHQGUHVRUWRÎ&#x20AC;cials still werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure exactly what the UHVSRQVHZRXOGEH %XWZKHQ5RE0HJQLQWKHUHVRUW¡V GLUHFWRURIPDUNHWLQJVDOHVDQGUHVHUYDWLRQV VKRZHG XS RQ WKH PRUQLQJ RI 1RYHPEHUWKHILUVWRIWKHWZRGD\ HYHQWKHJRWKLVDQVZHU´,MXVWVDWRXW E\WKHIURQWJDWHDQGZDVOLNHÂś2KP\ *RGWKH\DUHFRPLQJ Âł DQGWKH\DUH FRPLQJLQELJQXPEHUV¡¾KHVDLG $FFRUGLQJWRUHVRUWHVWLPDWHV SHRSOHDWWHQGHGWKHHYHQWZKLFKIHDtured womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slalom and giant slalom races and a victory by rising American VXSHUVWDU0LNDHOD6KLIIULQ7KHDWWHQGDQFHZKLFKLQFOXGHGDUDULW\LQVNL UDFLQJÂłSDLGJUDQGVWDQGVHDWLQJÂłZDV FRPSDUDEOHWRWKHODUJHVWFURZGVHYHU VHHQ LQ WKH  \HDUV WKDW :RUOG &XS events have been staged. (QWKXVLDVPIRUVXFKDPDMRUVNLLQJ HYHQWKRZHYHULVQRWFRQILQHGWRWKH 1RUWKHDVW 7KLV ZLQWHU IDQV IURP around the nation and the world will Ă RFNWR:RUOG&XSHYHQWVVFKHGXOHG LQWKH8QLWHG6WDWHVDFURVVWKH$OSLQH 12

| February 2017

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YHQXHVDQGDVFKHGXOLQJTXLUNWKDWSURGXFHGVHYHUDOUDUHRSHQGDWHVIRUGHVWLQDWLRQVWRWDNHDGYDQWDJHRIKRVWLQJ 7KRVHVFKHGXOLQJGRPLQRHVEHJDQIDOOLQJZKHQ$VSHQZDVDZDUGHGWKH),6 6NL :RUOG &XS )LQDOV VFKHGXOHG IRU 0DUFK²$VDUHVXOWWKHWUDGLWLRQDO HDUO\VHDVRQ GDWH WKDW $VSHQ KDG KRVWHGRSHQHGXSDQG866$PDGHWKH FDVHZLWK),6IRU.LOOLQJWRQ <HWDQRWKHURSSRUWXQLW\DURVHRQWKLV VHDVRQ¡VFDOHQGDUDIWHU6RXWK.RUHDZDV DZDUGHG WKH  2O\PSLF :LQWHU *DPHV:LWKDSODQQHG2O\PSLFYHQXH WHVWUDFHVFKHGXOHGIRU0DUFK²DQG $VSHQRQWKHGRFNHWWRKRVWWKHVHDVRQ ILQDOV WZR ZHHNV ODWHU D UDUH GDWH LQ EHWZHHQWKHWZRHYHQWVRSHQHGXSIRU womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slalom and giant slalom that 6TXDZ9DOOH\SXUVXHGDQGZRQ7KDW :RUOG&XS0DUFK²ZLOOPDUNWKH ILUVW WLPH WKH /DNH 7DKRH UHVRUW ZLOO KDYHKRVWHGVXFKDQHYHQWVLQFH )RU866$DQDJJUHVVLYHDSSURDFKWR VHHNLQJ:RUOG&XSGDWHVDW86UHVRUWV LVSDUWRIDVWUDWHJ\DLPHGDWEXLOGLQJ RÍżWKHPRPHQWXPJHQHUDWHGIURPVNLLQJ¡VH[SRVXUHDWWKHODVW2O\PSLF:LQWHU *DPHV LQ  ,Q  9DLO &RORUDGRKRVWHGWKH$OSLQH:RUOG6NL &KDPSLRQVKLSVDQGWKHSODQZDVWR XVHWKDWHYHQWWRVSDUNHYHQPRUHLQWHUHVW GRPHVWLFDOO\ LQ WKH VSRUW VDLG &DOXP&ODUN866$¡VYLFHSUHVLGHQWRI HYHQWV ´:H ZHUH ZRUNLQJ RXW KRZ strategically to ensure weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not one DQG GRQH WKDW WKHUH ZDVQ¡W MXVW RQH

Fast Fact #1 Aspen, Colorado, will host the FIS Ski World Cup Finals in March, the ďŹ rst time since 1997 that the United States will host the event.

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Winter Sports

However, as an early-season stop on the calendar, there was considerable risk with regard to weather. In fact, the early December menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup races scheduled in Beaver Creek, Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; an annual stop on the tourâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;were canceled for only the second time in their history because of lack of snow. But Killington brought extra snowmaking power from 160 machines, something that came at a cost but was worth it, Megnin said. In fact, the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s snowmaking skillsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a necessity for early-season skiing in the relatively lower elevations of the East Coast mountainsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;worked to its advantage, Megnin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of that technology has been developed in the Northeast since we rely on it a heck of a lot more than the West,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would argue the East is probably better prepared these days to take on events like this because we can do a better job of ensuring the surface they needâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;because this is where we need it the most.â&#x20AC;? Another factor that was anticipated was the large crowd. Early on, resort RÎ&#x20AC;FLDOVGHFLGHGWRVHOOJUDQGVWDQGVHDW-

here, and they all checked it out multiple times,â&#x20AC;? Megnin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had to build confidence in them from every perspective, from marketing to mountain operations to snowmaking.â&#x20AC;? Clark acknowledged that there were more than a few unknowns. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Killington in the international sphere was not known for Alpine World Cup, so there were a lot of questions from the international media and officials about what this was going to be like,â&#x20AC;? he said. Shaw said USSA nonetheless felt FRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQWWKHHYHQWZRXOGEHDKLWLQ part because the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large membership base in the Northeast was hungry for events and it had been a long time since the World Cup had been staged in the region. He also felt good about the layout of Killington as a spectator-friendly venue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of World Cups you go to where you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily see the event that well and you have to rely on the Jumbotron,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And Killington has a ORQJSLWFKULJKWWRWKHĂ&#x20AC;QLVKDQGDQDWural amphitheater with the stadium there. The energy was electric.â&#x20AC;?

ing, a risk for a sport in which on-site viewing is typically free. Seat pricing began at $20, but not knowing how that would sell, the resort also sold a â&#x20AC;&#x153;SuperFanâ&#x20AC;? ticket for $75 that included grandstand seating and a lift ticket to the resort. Tickets were put on sale in midsummer and sold out in six hours. From there, they added additional grandstand and extra VIP tickets, the latter of which sold for $350 and included a premium vantage point within a heated tent as well as food and beverage services, preferred parking and a lift ticket. Those, too, sold out in hours. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the end, we sold 3,500 seats for each day and 650 VIPs,â&#x20AC;? Megnin said. 7KHUHVXOWVZHUHVRJRRGWKDWUHVRUWRÎ&#x20AC;cials had to adjust their messaging to non ticket-holders still planning to come. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the mistakes we made was we publicized the fact that we sold it out,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People took that literally and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand we had a huge free viewing area. We had to reinforce that again and again and again.â&#x20AC;? The thousands who did attend were treated to a fantastic competition that

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Alessandro Trovati/AP Images

Cover Story

Four-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso grew up skiing in Squaw Valley, California. She played a key role in encouraging the resort to host a World Cup event this March, the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst since 1969.

ended with Shiffrinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s victory, won in front of her 95-year-old grandmother, who lives in nearby western Massachusetts. But more than that, the resort was pleased with the international broadcast in 60 countries and the estimated 80 million advertising impressions from the event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are only 14 resorts in the world that put on a World Cup in any given year, and we were one of them,â&#x20AC;? Megnin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For skiers, that means something. I have tons of anecdotes since that weekend from people who heard we did that event, saw it and decided to come here.â&#x20AC;?

Return to Squaw At Squaw Valley, resort executives are also looking to make the most of their opportunity, even if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re less concerned about the exposure theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get from television as a result. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The international and domestic TV exposure is appreciated, but at best itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tertiaryOHYHOEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WÂľVDLG$QG\:LUWK&(2RI Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we compare that commercial residual value against the net cost of staging this event, ZKLFKLVZHOOLQWRWKHVL[Ă&#x20AC;JXUHVWKHUH¡V actually better ways, frankly, for us to secure that same exposure.â&#x20AC;? What appeals more to Wirth is the fact that hosting a World Cup event plays into the mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture and 14

| February 2017

SHGLJUHHDVDIRUPHU2O\PSLF*DPHV host (in 1960), and it reinforces its image as a mountain that continues to produce and challenge a high concentration of elite athletes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to and need to inspire the next generation of young ski racers to become competitive Alpine skiers at this level,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The best way to do that is to watch the best skiers in the world at an Alpine World Cup. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very much endemic to not only our company but also our community.â&#x20AC;? While most resort-based ski teams are run by separate nonprofit entities, Squaw Valley owns its team, which has produced an enormous number of 2O\PSLDQVDQGHOLWHDWKOHWHVLQFOXGLQJ IRXUWLPH2O\PSLFPHGDOLVW-XOLD0DQFXVR,QIDFWLWZDV0DQFXVRZKRĂ&#x20AC;UVW approached Wirth about the notion of KRVWLQJD:RUOG&XSUDFH´-XOLDPHQtioned to me in a friendly conversation, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in between South Korea and Aspen?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And I looked at her quizzically and she said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Squaw Valley. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go after an Alpine World Cup. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time on the calendar and it works out well from a travel perspective.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? For its race, Squaw is borrowing a page from Killingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successful story and has sold grandstand seats as well. The tickets sold out in 15 minutes when they were put on sale in late August. Wirth expects even larger crowds on the mountain in the free viewing areas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

not only anticipate good television viewership but, for on-site viewership, we took the Killington challenge and said weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to do more,â&#x20AC;? he said. 6KDZDJUHHVWKDWLW¡VGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\SRVVLble. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Squaw has the potential to be like Killington,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pent-up demand. There are a lot of people, and they care about ski racing.â&#x20AC;? In addition, Wirth borrowed a page from his time as an executive at the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation in Colorado,which hosts Nordic combined World Cup events. There, he arranged for the local school district to give children the day off from school to boost attendance and inspire them to see elitelevel athletes. Similar discussions have been held in Squaw Valley for the Friday of the event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not only do we anticipate many people showing up, but we are turning this into a field trip and a learning experience for the youngsters LQWKLVUHJLRQÂľKHVDLG´2XUVXSHULQtendent received this with great celebration and support.â&#x20AC;?

Culture of Ski Racing While Killington and Squaw Valley PDUNVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWVKLIWVLQHYHQWKRVWVQR event will be larger this season than the World Cup Finals in Aspen. For decades, Aspen has been a regular stop on the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup in the disciplines of slalom and giant slalom. But WKHĂ&#x20AC;QDOVZLOOEULQJWKHZRUOG¡VWRSPHQ and women competing in each Alpine disciplineâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;nine championship events LQDOORYHUĂ&#x20AC;YHGD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;We thought this might be a great opportunity to rally the community, to put in a bid for a major ski event and tap all that nostalgia that is not only in this community but throughout the ski industry for racing in Aspen,â&#x20AC;? said -RKQ 5LJQH\ YLFHSUHVLGHQW RI VDOHV and events for the Aspen Skiing Company. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From there, it was a long road.â&#x20AC;? Shaw said that hosting an event in March instead of November, when Aspen traditionally hosts, works to the organizersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; advantage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s March, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about having enough snow on the trail, which allows them to focus more on spectator amenities and the grandstands and all these things that help people come watch it,â&#x20AC;? he said. But Rigney said there are pros and cons to hosting the event later in the winter season. Because March is peak SportsTravelMagazine.com


Winter Sports

visitor season, the resort needs to focus on many things at once. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken a lot to make sure we generate all the assets DQGPDQSRZHUZHQHHGWRSXOOWKLVRÍż when people are undoubtedly very busy with their day jobs,â&#x20AC;? Rigney said. So far, however, the community has responded. The regular Aspen

would be interested in a late-season event in Aspen, which in 1950 hosted the first world championships ever held outside of Europe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are incredibly focused on delivering a very good athletic event but with the very strong culture of Aspen,â&#x20AC;? Clark said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are not afraid to showcase that this is going to be a great celebration at the end of the year with a lot of locals out having a very good time. They have a great plan, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonderful marriage of an amazing ski venue thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredibly tough and with a finish right at the edge of an iconic mountain Western town.â&#x20AC;? Indeed, the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proximity to its downtown makes it unusual among World Cup Finals hosts. And the city plans to take advantage of that with ancillary events in the centrally located Wagner Park. Programming includes a NLFNRÍżSDUW\RQ0DUFKOLYHPXVLFD St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day party and a celebration of Aspen and its ski racing history. Rigney said the resort hopes the H[SRVXUHZLOOSD\RÍżRQPXOWLSOHIURQWV â&#x20AC;&#x153;In many ways, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s both a long- and

Fast Fact #2 American Lindsey Vonn nn entered the season with 76 career World Cup ski victories. She trails only Ingemar Stenmarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 86 career victories for most wins of all time.

event typically requires about 200 volunteers, whereas the finals will need about 600 volunteers, who have already been secured. Clark said the national governing body backed the bid strongly knowing that the world skiing community

short-term play,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to ILOOWKHWRZQWKLV0DUFKEXWZHZDQW Aspen to continue to be on peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s radar for years and years to come. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been successful with that with X Games, and if you go back to our roots, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really a ski-racing town.â&#x20AC;?

The Big Picture From East to West, the 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2017 season of World Cup ski racing promises to leave a lasting impression on resorts across the country. But 866$RÎ&#x20AC;FLDOVKRSHWKHHYHQWVFKHGule will do even more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Part of this mission was to show to the world that Alpine ski racing is vibrant and healthy and very popular and not just in the state of Colorado but nationwide,â&#x20AC;? Clark said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen great success in Killington, Vermont. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very bullish on what kind of success weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to see in Squaw Valley. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be important for us to showcase to the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that this is a very large country with a lot of passion for Alpine ski racing.â&#x20AC;?

ANYTIME! ANYWHERE! Download the Association News and SportsTravel Apps! Stay connected with the association and sports group travel markets wherever you go. Download both apps and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 American Express gift card.

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FE B RUARY 1 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 8 , 2 0 1 7 XďŹ nity Arena | Everett, Washington

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USA Curling National Championship

I

n February, residents of Everett, Washington, will gain an entirely new perspective on sweeping. The city, 30 miles north of Seattle, will host the 2017 USA Curling National Championship, an event that will feature the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best male and female curlers in an icy exhibition of skill and precision. Long popular in Canada, curling has gained attention south of the border since the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, and the nationals in Everett should build on that. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are super excited to have the opportunity to host nationals,â&#x20AC;? said Charlie Anthe, the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marketing chair and a member of Seattleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Granite Curling Club. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Pacific Northwest has a really strong curling community, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really hopeful that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get a lot of support in the area for the event.â&#x20AC;? ;Ă&#x20AC;QLW\$UHQDZLOOEHWKHSODFHWREH for those who enjoy the sport where athletes slide stones, known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;rocks,â&#x20AC;? down a sheet of ice, with the goal of landing them within a series of concentric circles. Sweepers try to guide the stone toward the target by sweeping the ice in front of it. The event is a joint effort among USA Curling, the Snohomish County 6SRUWV&RPPLVVLRQ;Ă&#x20AC;QLW\$UHQDDQG the Granite Curling Club. Seeking an event for the normally slow month of February, the Snohomish County Sports Commission partnered with the Granite Curling Club on the bid. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We asked if they were interested in being the local organizing committee and our partner in running the event. They were on board, and we also worked with the ;Ă&#x20AC;QLW\$UHQDVWDͿ¾VDLG Tammy Dunn, sports development director for the Snohomish County Sports Commission. USA Curling Chief Executive Officer Rick Patzke toured Xfinity 16

| February 2017

to give it a try. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never done curling in the venue before and having a new event is always nice.â&#x20AC;? For the curling event, the arena will utilize only its lower bowl of seating, with a capacity of about 3,000. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make a sheet of ice over the top of our hockey ice,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to tell itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hockey rink, but it will look more like a curling club than it will a hockey rink.â&#x20AC;? Five curling â&#x20AC;&#x153;sheetsâ&#x20AC;? will be used for the event. Organizers are also setting up a half sheet for fans to give the sport a try, and tickets will be modestly priced between $10 and $25. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not very often that you get to go to a Seahawks game and actually throw a football on the field

Arena and Everett and was pleased with what he saw. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 2009 we decided to take our national events out of the traditional curling club venues and into multiuse arenas and bigger venues,â&#x20AC;? Patzke said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a partnership with the community, the venue and, where possible, an existing curling club. We have all three of those things in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a partnership Seattle-Everett area.â&#x20AC;? with the community, the venue The 10,000-capacity and, where possible, an existing Xfinity Arena opened curling club.â&#x20AC;? in 2003 and was the â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Rick Patzke recipient of the InterUSA Curling national Association of Ve n u e M a n a g e r s â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ve n u e E x c e l l e n c e Award in 2010. It hosted Skate before or after a game,â&#x20AC;? Anthe said. America in 2008 and the Pacific Rim â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having the interaction really makes Gymnastics Championships in 2012 it a lot more interesting. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great and 2016. opportunity to raise awareness.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping that the event goes Dunn said the organizing team is very well and that this is a stepping pleased with the way the event has been stone for us to bid on world events received in the area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The people I talk or something like the Continental to about curling â&#x20AC;&#x201D; whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a business leader or someone who lives in Snohomish County â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are excited â&#x20AC;&#x153;(People are) excited because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard about curling but because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard have never really seen it,â&#x20AC;? Dunn said. about curling but have â&#x20AC;&#x153;The downtown location is perfect for never really seen it.â&#x20AC;? economic development â&#x20AC;&#x201D; businesses â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Tammy Dunn generating revenue and bringing people Snohomish County Sports Commission in to showcase the city of Everett.â&#x20AC;? Patzke is excited about the chance to bring curling to a new audience. Cup of Curling,â&#x20AC;? Xfinity Arena Gen- â&#x20AC;&#x153;It gives us the opportunity to divereral Manager Rick Comeau said. sify curlingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exposure and leave a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help to raise awareness of the legacy somewhere new in the curlsport, create new fans and get peo- ing community,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Neal Reid ple out to the Granite Curling Club

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D E CEMBER 1 7 – 1 8 , 2 0 1 6 Orange County Convention Center | Orlando, Florida

POST

AKC National Championship

T

AKC

he 2016 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin was one of the largest dog shows ever held in North America. And in the end, a Puli named Preston earned Best in Show honors, beating out nearly 5,000 competitors — representing 190 breeds — and earning a $50,000 cash prize at the event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The 16th edition of the AKC’s National Championship featured a multitude of events. Along with Best in Show and Best of Breed competitions for its seven groups (sporting, hound, working, terriers, toy, non-sporting and herding), other proceedings included the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic and junior events. The number of entrants in the main competition set a new show participant record, eclipsing last year ’s national championship entry of 4,670 dogs. The prize money was the largest in the United States since the 1984 AKC award in the world of dog sports. “The record number of entrants tells Centennial celebration. To commemous that this event is a well-organized rate its 100th year in 1984, the AKC Cenevent held in a world-class facility, tennial dog show took place at the which makes it fun and easy for people Philadelphia Civic Center. The Orlando event, which included to attend,” said Gina DiNardo, vice-president of the American Kennel events beginning December 13, was a Club. “Our exhibitors love coming boon to the region. Although economic to Orlando.” impact calculations are not complete, “The AKC National C h a m p i o n s h i p p re “Dog shows are a departure sented by Royal Canin from the normal, but is a well-oiled machine,” definitely a breath of said Kathie Canning, executive director of the fresh air.” Orange County Conven—Kathie Canning Orange County Convention Center tion Center. “At this point in our relationship, we are well planned and equipped for the unexpected. Atten- expectations are high. “There is a subdance was at a record high. Even with stantial economic impact from dog expanded aisles for Meet the Breeds on shows on a local community,” DiNardo Saturday and Sunday, spectators were said. “Per the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau, an estimated $43 milstill elbow-to-elbow.” Total canine entrants for all of the lion is generated in the community due event’s shows topped 7,000, making to the show.” The Orange County Convention this the largest dog show in North America and the largest dog event held Center is a veteran of hosting the AKC

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annual event. “Dog shows are a departure from the normal, but definitely a breath of fresh air,” Canning said. “The dog show planners, exhibitors and attendees are a breed of their own. They bring so much excitement and entertainment to our venue.” Ancillary events included Meet the Breeds booths, which gave attendees a chance to encounter dogs from more than 150 breeds, and a Doggie Boutique featuring more than 100 vendors, giving dog owners an opportunity to spoil their four-footed friends. “ T h e p e o p l e o f O r l a n d o a re always wonderfully receptive to the event and are very welcoming,” DiNardo said. “The area hotels are great to work with — they make special allowance to allow very well-behaved dogs in their rooms. It is a pleasure to do business in the Orlando community.” The 2016 championship marked the eighth year that Orlando served as host of the event. The city is scheduled to host through 2020. —John Vivirito February 2017

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Our sports organization will never be producing anything the size of the Super Bowl. But is there an easy way to boil down what it is that big events do well that can translate to other events? What aspects of organizing large events are applicable to smaller ones? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Thinking Big

Dear Event Doctor:

Dear Thinking: I actually believe that big events can learn as much from smaller ones as the other way around. For instance, FRANK SUPOVITZ smaller events generally recognize that passion for the sport is the reason fans buy tickets and attend the games. Smaller events often do a terrific job of preserving competitive integrity and providing an environment in which athletes can do their very best. At larger events, organizers are often occupied with other issues that compete for their attention, such as sponsor hospitality and media needs. Maintaining a focus on the competitive aspects of a sports event must always remain the highest priority. 7KHUHDUHPDQ\\DUGVWLFNVE\ZKLFKZHFDQGLÍżHUHQWLate between a â&#x20AC;&#x153;smallâ&#x20AC;? and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;largeâ&#x20AC;? event, but for our SXUSRVHVOHW¡VGHĂ&#x20AC;QHLWQRWLQWHUPVRIWKHQXPEHURIDWKletes but as a function of spectator attendance and the impact on venues and community infrastructure. By this GHĂ&#x20AC;QLWLRQDODUJHHYHQWUHTXLUHVDJUHDWHUOHYHORISODQning, including transportation, accommodations, VIP guest management and a variety of auxiliary events â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for media and the community, for instance â&#x20AC;&#x201D; designed to elevate the image and business of the sport. It is incumbent

on major-event organizers to invest more time and resources into site planning, marketing and sales campaigns, media plans and entertainment for guests beyond the actual competition. All of this investment is at risk if something should go seriously amiss, so wise planners develop a set of contingency plans that address the most predictable of potential challenges. Although small events do not generally encompass as many details, thinking through likely potential problems and formalizing well-reasoned responses is a best practice worth considering irrespective of the size of the program. Documenting an event is another best practice that well-managed large events embrace. That involves creating a set of written plans that are useful for reference, for simplified planning of future events, and as a guide should UHVSRQVLELOLWLHVVKLIWWRQHZVWDÍż,QVWLWXWLRQDONQRZOHGJH and succession planning can be just as vital to small events as to larger ones. Finally, remember that many large events aspire to be even larger, and most started their lives as smaller programs. Study larger events similar to yours to determine what made them successful. It is likely that their formula for growth included engaging the community, developing partner relationships with local business and telling compelling stories about their sport and the athletes. Good luck!

Dear Event Doctor::H¡YHJRWDQXSFRPLQJHYHQWWKDWZHKRSHZLOOĂ&#x20AC;OOKRWHOURRPVLQRXUFLW\2XU

concern is that a considerable percentage of attendees are going to either stay in one of the surroundLQJFRPPXQLWLHVWKDWRÍżHUOHVVH[SHQVLYHKRWHOVRUXVH$LUEQEWRJRLWRQWKHLURZQ:KDWPRUHFDQ we do to ensure that people will stay in the rooms weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve blocked at our cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hotels? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Staying Power Dear Staying: Part of the answer, of course, is in your TXHVWLRQ ,I SDUWLFLSDQWV DQG VSHFWDWRUV DUH IOHHLQJ WR more economical properties, they are doing so because room rates in your host hotels are significantly higher and the experience of staying there is not worth the difference in price. Some hotels raise the room rates beyond what is realistic and customary for the time of year, increase the length of the minimum mandatory stay or otherwise put themselves in a position of competitive disadvantage. They may wrongly assume that the convenience of their location, the strength of their brand or the TXDOLW\RIWKHLUIDFLOLWLHVZLOORXWZHLJKWKHHFRQRPLFEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WVRIVWD\LQJIDUWKHUDZD\RUDWDOLPLWHGVHUYLFHSURSerty. Guarding against hikes in room rates is essential to encouraging spectators to book at participating hotels. Depending on the demographics of the event, a rate reduction might even be considered during non-peak seasons to increase the likelihood of bookings.

Recognizing that the guestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision will always center on cost and value, there are ways of clawing back at least some of the business leaking to less-expensive neighboring options. The hotels, host city and event organizer can work together to offer packages that include rooms, dining and attraction options, discounted parking, hospitality opportunities, courtesy shuttles, exclusive merchandise and services of real and calculable value. This can serve to narrow the economic differences in the room rates. The key here is making the experience in your host hotels superior and narrowing the effective cost difference. The convenience of attending welcome receptions and fan activities at or near the host hotels also promotes guest bookings. Staying â&#x20AC;&#x153;where the action happensâ&#x20AC;? should be attractive to fans, in terms of both price and experience. Stay focused on providing more value and narrowing that economic gap!

7KH(YHQW'RFWRULVVSRUWVHYHQWYHWHUDQ)UDQN6XSRYLW]SUHVLGHQWDQGFKLHIH[SHULHQFHRÎ&#x20AC;FHURI)DVW7UDÎ&#x20AC;F(YHQWV (QWHUWDLQPHQWDQHYHQWPDQDJHPHQWDQG FRQVXOWLQJĂ&#x20AC;UP)URPWR6XSRYLW]VHUYHGDVWKHVHQLRUHYHQWH[HFXWLYHIRUWKH1DWLRQDO)RRWEDOO/HDJXHDQG1DWLRQDO+RFNH\/HDJXH+HLVDOVRWKH author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook.â&#x20AC;? Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to eventdoctor@schneiderpublishing.com. 20

| February 2017

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Sports Spotlight

Bass Fishing Events Increase in Scale %DVVĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJHYHQWV DWWUDFWPRUHWKDQMXVW ELWLQJĂ&#x20AC;VK$JURZLQJ QXPEHURIRUJDQL]DWLRQV DUHRÍżHULQJHYHQWVIRUKRVW FLWLHVDOORZLQJVSHFWDWRUV WRDWWHQGDFWLYLWLHVWKDW VWUHWFKEH\RQGWKHZDWHU

B.A.S.S.

By John Vivirito

B.A.S.S., based in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the oldest and largest bass ďŹ shing organizations in the country, hosting events at all levels from high school competitions to professional circuits.

6

ports held on the water have long driven participation and drawn spectators. But bass fishing in particular has managed to bring crowds not only to the waterfront, but to convention centers and ODUJHRÍżZDWHUVSDFHVIRUZHLJK ins and other aspects of a competition that has become a G\QDPLFSDUWRIWKHVSRUWVHYHQW industry. Many destinations can host such events as long as they meet two essential site needs: an adequate body of water and satisfactory boat launches.

Catchy Competition One of the leading organizations is Birmingham, $ODEDPDEDVHG%$66ZKLFKZDVIRXQGHGLQ´7R VXPLWXS%$66LVDWKUHHIROGFRPSDQ\WRXUQDPHQWV memberships and media,â&#x20AC;? said Michael Mulone, who has SportsTravelMagazine.com

been the director of event and tourism partnerships at %$66VLQFH´:HSXWRQDYDULHW\RIWRXUQDPHQWV WKURXJKRXWWKH\HDU:H¡UHDPHPEHUVKLSEDVHGEXVLQHVV ZLWKRYHUPHPEHUV$QGZH¡UHDPHGLDFRPSDQ\ with two magazines (Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times DQGRXUZHEVLWHLVWKHOHDGLQJSURYLGHURIĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJ FRQWHQWLQWKHZRUOG:HOLYHVWUHDPHYHQWVSOXVIRURXU WHOHYLVHGHYHQWVZH¡UHDLUHGRQ(631DQG(631&ODVVLF, feel our sport continues to grow through our media and national exposure.â&#x20AC;? During a regular tournament week, bassmaster.com receives DERXW  PLOOLRQ SDJH YLHZV 7KDW QXPEHU QHDUO\ WULSOHV GXULQJ%DVVPDVWHU&ODVVLFZHHNZKHQWKHZHEVLWHUHFHLYHV PRUHWKDQPLOOLRQSDJHYLHZVDFFRUGLQJWR0XORQH 7KH %DVVPDVWHU 7RXUQDPHQW 7UDLO LV PDGH XS RI events of several classifications, including the %DVVPDVWHU(OLWH6HULHV LWVKLJKHVWOHYHO WKH%DVVPDVWHU &ROOHJH6HULHVDQG%DVVPDVWHU+LJK6FKRROZLWKRSHQ FRPSHWLWLRQVDQGDFKDPSLRQVKLS´)RUDKRVWVLWHZH QHHGDILVKHU\ZLWKDWOHDVWVXUIDFHDFUHVZLWKD February 2017

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Sports Spotlight 1

Fishing events often draw big crowds at boat launches, where anglers head out to catch their ďŹ sh.

ABA

2 For most bass ďŹ shing tournaments, organizers are looking for both an appropriate-sized body of water and accessible boat ramps for launching.

B.A.S.S.

2

3 In addition to the competition on the water, ďŹ shing event organizers are often looking for indoor space to showcase the weigh-ins.

1

lot of fish in it and with a lot of space to accommodate 0LQXWH 0DLG 3DUN KRPH RI 0DMRU /HDJXH %DVHEDOO¡V the boats,â&#x20AC;? Mulone said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, boat-ramp space and Astros, will host the daily weigh-ins. In addition, the overnight accommodations are considered. For our Elite Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo is scheduled to run Series tournaments, we need an area for a free family concurrently at the George R. Brown Convention Center. festival that will be around 100,000 square feet, either The annual festival for the bass-fishing industry green space or parking lot space.â&#x20AC;? introduces new products to its fans, and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expo But other organizations are growing their events ZLOO FRYHU  VTXDUH IHHW ZKLFK LV D %DVVPDVWHU as well. For the American Bass Anglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 800-plus events, Classic record. the organization seeks an adequate marine and â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a huge win for the region and is a perfect boat launch with ample dock spacing as well as a site example of how our events staff constantly works in with considerable vehicle parking, said collaboration with a variety of partners, Evan Boutwell, its national marketing as well as creatively, to bring these type Inside director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Major events launch 200 of sporting events to town,â&#x20AC;? said Janis boats and park 200 trucks and trailers Burke, chief executive officer of the and 100 passenger vehicles,â&#x20AC;? he said, Harris County-Houston Sports noting that a national championship Authority that bid on the event. Watch a video supplement to this typically would require the use of both $PHULFDQ%DVV$QJOHUVRSHUDWHVĂ&#x20AC;YH story on SportsTravelMagazine.com presented by for a week. However, the duration and tournament trails, and prizes are size of ABA events varies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have abundant at all levels. Its Ram Open everything from small local Series offers cash prizes ranging from tournaments with 20 boats that might WRGHSHQGLQJRQWKHĂ&#x20AC;HOG turn three room nights for a host of boaters along with equipment prizes. community all the way to week-long The ABAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest event is the national events with 200-plus boats, which will produce no-entry-fee Ray Scott Championship, this year 1,200 to 1,400-plus room nights,â&#x20AC;? Boutwell said. VFKHGXOHG IRU $SULO  ²  DW 2OG +LFNRU\ /DNH QHDU As far as lake size, some of its smaller events can take Nashville, Tennessee. The winning angler will receive place on 8,000- to 9,000-acre bodies of water, while the  FDVK D  7ULWRQ ERDW ZLWK D 0HUFXU\ organization would prefer to hold large-scale events outboard and a two-year lease on a new Ram truck, all (with more than 100 boats) on lakes and reservoirs that SDUWRIDWRWDOSD\RXW are in excess of 20,000 acres, he said. In addition to the annual Ray Scott Championship, the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two other championships include the fourday Military Team Bass Tournament in May and the RAM Big Bass Events AFT National Championship in October. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our he Geico Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, championships are scattered through the year which, touted as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,â&#x20AC;? has luckily, gives us time to recuperate from one and get VHHQLWVĂ&#x20AC;UVWSODFHSUL]HJURZIURPLQ ready for the next year,â&#x20AC;? Boutwell said. WRWKLV\HDUSDUWRIDPLOOLRQSOXVSXUVH7KH event has enjoyed an average attendance of 102,000 over Many Groups Fishing for Cities WKH SDVW ILYH \HDUV DQG PRUH WKDQ  SHRSOH any other event organizers offer competition in attended one or more of the classicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multiple venues bass fishing as well. The Benton, Ken(such as its weigh-in facility or festival site) last year in WXFN\EDVHG)LVKLQJ/HDJXH:RUOGZLGHEHWWHU 7XOVD2NODKRPD'XULQJWKDWĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVSDQKRVWFLWLHV KDYHUHSRUWHGDQHFRQRPLFLPSDFWUDQJLQJIURPPLO- NQRZQ DV )/: )LVKLQJ JRW LWV VWDUW LQ  DQG ELOOV OLRQWRPLOOLRQ itself as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest tournament-fishing organi7KHHYHQWZLOOWDNHSODFH0DUFK ² RQ/DNH ]DWLRQÂľ )/: RIIHUV PRUH WKDQ  WRXUQDPHQWV DQG Conroe in Houston with 52 of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best anglers. expos annually, and many tournaments can be seen on

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| February 2017

SportsTravelMagazine.com


ABA

3

NBC Sports Network. The Walmart FLW Tourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s championship is known as the Forrest Wood Cup with the 2017 event scheduled for August 11 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 13 on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. A competitive tour on a lesser scale that utilizes its events in a unique way is the Fishers of Men (FOM) National Tournament Trail. This nonprofit angling group is based in Chapin, South Carolina, and has been around for nearly two decades. FOMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is twofold, offering its fishers and their families opportunities to compete while also introducing participants to its nondenominational religious message. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of the guys arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t particularly interested in hearing the message, but they want to fish in our tournament,â&#x20AC;? said Bobby Eads, FOMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior vicepresident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a great group of volunteers who put on great fishing tournaments that draw the fishermen in. We also rely on the assistance of local tourism commissions.â&#x20AC;? During its inaugural season 19 years ago, Fishers of Men had a total of 21 events. Today, the group organizes about 300 tournaments a year (all team events) with anywhere from 30 to more than 150 participating boats, Eads said. The organization has five divisions in 27 states across the eastern, central and southern United States and 13 separate championships (with 13 separate requests for proposals). FOM has a full-time staff of two people supporting between 4,000 and 5,000 members, so a sturdy group of volunteers is charged with the bulk of hosting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For our local events, we pretty much leave that up to each volunteer director to sort out,â&#x20AC;? Eads said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Their needs are minimal for a location choice; typically, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be just a body of water that has fish in it and a boat ramp that can handle the number of boats necessary.â&#x20AC;?

Economic Impact

F

RUKRVWGHVWLQDWLRQVFRPSHWLWLYHEDVVĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJHYHQWV can provide a solid economic impact. In addition to the usual impact of hotel/motel stays, restaurant VWRSVDQGIHVWLYDOSURĂ&#x20AC;WVKRVWDUHDVDOVREHQHĂ&#x20AC;WIURPWKH SXUFKDVHRIERDWIXHODQGĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJHTXLSPHQW â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of host communities just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grasp what the economic impact of an event is,â&#x20AC;? Boutwell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For an event like the Ray Scott, it can be near $1 million. That

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includes burning $50 or $60 worth of boat gas dailyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with over 200 boats â&#x20AC;&#x201D; plus $150 to $250 a night lodging, meal expenses, plus the anglers may buy equipment in the host community. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not forget: The weeks before that, the fishermen come to the community prior to the event to practice and money is spent. And how many of the anglers DUHVRLPSUHVVHGZLWKWKHĂ&#x20AC;VKHU\WKDWWKH\UHWXUQHGWRĂ&#x20AC;VK LWDJDLQ"7KHUHVLGXDOHÍżHFWVDUHKDUGWRPHDVXUHÂľ Membership fees play a big part in supporting these organizations. B.A.S.S. annual memberships range from $15 to $100, or a lifetime membership costs $450. ABA annual fees range from $25 to $149.99, with a lifetime membership of $425. FLW inclusion runs $15 to $50, and )20PHPEHUVSD\WR)20DOVRRÍżHUVDQRSWLRQDO â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bonus Bucksâ&#x20AC;? program in which, for an additional $25 fee, anglers can earn a bigger payday. (The collective fees of this program are split by the top three teams.) And on top of membership requirements, competitors may have to pay event entry fees. 0RUHUHFHQWO\EDVVĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJRUJDQL]DWLRQVKDYHQRWLFHGD growth of younger age classes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With bass fishing now growing on the high school and college level, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good for the industry,â&#x20AC;? Boutwell said. 0RVWFRPSHWLWLYHĂ&#x20AC;VKLQJWRXUVKDYHRÍżHULQJVRQWKH local, regional and state levels as well as for a wide range of age levels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our office does about 35 events a year,â&#x20AC;? Mulone said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The state chapters do literally thousands of tournaments a year, from their club tournaments to their club championship tournaments â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with the lower 48 states that host tournaments, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thousands of tournaments annually.â&#x20AC;?

Corporate Support

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itle sponsors are necessary to keep the series economically afloat, and supporters include many endemic and nonendemic sponsors. Premier Bassmaster Series backers are Berkley Fishing, Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sports + Outdoors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our tournaments have grown, and prize money has grown along with them, as has our sponsorship,â&#x20AC;? Mulone said. ´:KLOHZHKDYHRXUVSRUWVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FVSRQVRUVZH¡YHEURXJKW in sponsors who are not endemic to the outdoors like Geico, GoPro, Toyota, Carhartt. Our support reaches a YDULHW\RISHRSOHLQDYDULHW\RIGLÍżHUHQWGHPRJUDSKLFVÂľ American Bass Anglers counts Best Western Hotels & Resorts, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., and Garmin among its patrons. Fishers of Men relies on sponsors such as Bass Cat Boats, Stren Original Fishing Line, and the Strike King Lure Co., while FLWâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s title-series sponsors are Walmart and Costa Del Mar sunglasses. In December, FLW and Yeti coolers announced a multiyear agreement that includes title sponsorship of the FLW College Fishing series.

On the Waterfront

D

estinations near lakes or rivers in search of exciting events for their community should look no further than bass fishing tournaments. The economic impact they provide is a boost to any host site, thanks to solid participation and fan support and the likelihood of UHWXUQDSSHDUDQFHVZKHQHYHQWVĂ RZDVWKH\VKRXOG February 2017

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23


The Interview

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley The Olympic champion is the CEO of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, a group aimed at using the power of sports to help change the lives of children

A

t the 1984 Olympic Summer Games, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley became the Ã&#x20AC;UVW$IULFDQ$PHULFDQZRPDQDQGVHFRQG$PHULFDQHYHUWRZLQDJROGPHGDO LQWKHPHWHUKXUGOHV%XWVKHQHYHUVWRSSHGVXFFHHGLQJ$IWHUZRUNLQJIRU Special Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics organizing committee, she spent eight \HDUVDVSUHVLGHQWDQG&(2RI:RPHQLQ&DEOH7HOHFRPPXQLFDWLRQV)URPWKHUHVKH EHFDPHFKLHIRIVSRUWSHUIRUPDQFHIRU86$7UDFN )LHOGKHOSLQJWKHWHDPWRZLQ PHGDOVDWWKH*DPHVDQGVHUYHGDVFKLHIRIRUJDQL]DWLRQDOH[FHOOHQFHIRUWKH86 2O\PSLF&RPPLWWHH,QVKHZDVQDPHG&(2RI/DXUHXV86$DIRXQGDWLRQWKDW LVSDUWRIDJOREDOHÍ¿RUWWRWUDQVIRUPWKHOLYHVRI\RXWKWKURXJKVSRUWV ,QWKLVLQWHUYLHZZLWK6SRUWV7UDYHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jason Gewirtz, Fitzgerald Mosley discusses /DXUHXV·PLVVLRQEDUULHUVEHWZHHQNLGVDQGVSRUWVDQGZKDWZLQQLQJJROGPHDQWWRKHU Laureus USA has had an ambitious goal to use sports as a tool for social change. What are some of the most effective ways to do that? ,WLVDQDPELWLRXVJRDO:HUHÃ&#x20AC;QHGRXUPLVVLRQDOLWWOHELWZKHQ,JRWKHUHOHVVWKDQ D\HDUDJR2XUPLVVLRQQRZLVWRFKDQJHWKHOLYHVRI\RXWKDQGVWUHQJWKHQFRPPXQLWLHVWKURXJKWKHSRZHURIVSRUW,W·VVRPHZKDWRIDELIXUFDWHGPLVVLRQEXW ZHDOVRIHHOOLNHLI\RX·UHGHYHORSLQJ\RXWKDVWKH\PDWULFXODWHWKURXJKVFKRRO DQGJRRQWREHHPSOR\HGLQWKHLUFRPPXQLW\WKDWVSRUWLQDQGRILWVHOIFDQEULQJ FRPPXQLWLHVWRJHWKHU+HUHLQWKH8QLWHG6WDWHVZHKDYHSURJUDPVLQFLWLHV EXWZH·UHDOVRIXQGLQJWKHWUDLQLQJRIFRDFKHVLQVSRUWSURJUDPVDURXQGWKH FRXQWU\DQGZHKDYHUHDOO\KHOSHGGHYHORSDQGDGYDQFHVSRUWIRUNLGV,XVHDQ H[DPSOHRIDSURJUDPFDOOHG(OHYDWHLQ1HZ2UOHDQV7KH\VHUYHNLGVRUVREXW ZHZHUHDEOHWRKHOSWKHPJURZ³JURZWKHLUVWDÍ¿UDLVHPRUHPRQH\EHPRUH LQWHQWLRQDODERXWWKHSURJUDPVWKH\DUHGRLQJ7KH\KDYHDSHUFHQWJUDGXDWLRQUDWH:HKDYHDKXJHYLVLRQIRUKRZZHWKLQNVSRUWFDQKHOSFKDQJHWKH ZRUOGEXWZH·UHGRLQJLWRQHSURJUDPDWDWLPHRQHNLGDWDWLPHSODFLQJRQH FRDFKDWDWLPHEHFDXVHZHNQRZRYHUWLPHZHFDQKDYHVLJQLÃ&#x20AC;FDQWLPSDFW What cities have you been focusing your biggest effort on? )LUVW1HZ2UOHDQVDQGQRZ$WODQWD7KLVGHFLVLRQKDSSHQHGEHIRUH,HYHQ VWDUWHGDW/DXUHXV7KH\KDGVWDUWHGZRUNLQJLQ1HZ2UOHDQVUHDOO\LQIXOOIRUFH EHJLQQLQJLQ:HEXLOWDFRDOLWLRQRIRUJDQL]DWLRQVDQGIXQGHGVL[RIWKHP GLUHFWO\ZLWKSUHWW\ODUJHJUDQWVRYHUWKUHH\HDUV:H·OOSODQRQUHXSSLQJWKRVH JUDQWVXSWRVL[\HDUV1RZZHKDYHLQWKHFRDOLWLRQ:HKDYHVKDUHGJRDOV

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| February 2017

VKDUHGPHDVXUHPHQWVDQGKDYHUHDOO\ KHOSHG WKHP LQFUHDVH WKHLU FDSDFLW\ :H·YHQRZJURZQWKHLULPSDFWIURP NLGVWRNLGVLQXQGHUWZR \HDUV1RUPDOO\LW·VDFRPSHWLWLYHHQYLURQPHQWSDUWLFXODUO\DPRQJWKHVPDOO PRUHIOHGJOLQJRUJDQL]DWLRQV7KH\·UH DOO WU\LQJ WR JUDE IURP WKH VDPH UHVRXUFHV7KH\UHDOL]HGLIWKH\FRXOG ZRUNWRJHWKHUDQGLQFUHDVHWKHWRWDOSLH WKH\FRXOGLQFUHDVHWKHQXPEHURINLGV WKH\·UHVHUYLQJDQGVKDUHUHVRXUFHVWKDW FDQKHOSRQHDQRWKHURXWVRHYHU\RQH EHQHÃ&#x20AC;WV:H·UHJRLQJWRWDNHZKDWZH·UH GRLQJLQ1HZ2UOHDQVDQGDGDSWLWWR WKHQHHGVLQ$WODQWD:HSODQVRRQWR DQQRXQFH5)3VWRRUJDQL]DWLRQVWRVWDUW WKHSURFHVVDOORYHUDJDLQWKHUH:HSODQ RQWDNLQJWKLVLQLWLDWLYHDFURVVWKHFRXQWU\:HIHHOLW·VDPRGHOWKDWFDQVFDOH VPDOOHU RU ODUJHU GHSHQGLQJ RQ WKH UHVRXUFHVDYDLODEOH Do you know what cities you might approach or are you looking for cities to approach you? ,W·VERWK:HKDYHDFROODERUDWLYHWKDW ZH SXW WRJHWKHU LQ 1HZ <RUN &LW\ ZLWK$GHOSKL8QLYHUVLW\:HKDYH RU  RUJDQL]DWLRQV WKDW DUH QRZ PHHWLQJRQDTXDUWHUO\EDVLVIRUSURIHVVLRQDOGHYHORSPHQW:HJHWVSHDNHUV ZH GR PL[HUV DQG WKDW NLQG RI WKLQJ :H NQRZ WKHUH DUH SOHQW\ RI RUJDQL]DWLRQVWKHUHDOUHDG\WKDWFDQ XVHWKHRSSRUWXQLW\WRFRPHWRJHWKHU %XWLIWKHUHLVDFLW\RXWWKHUHWKDWLV SportsTravelMagazine.com


Benita Fitzgerald Mosley

looking to use sport to address some of the issues â&#x20AC;&#x201D; health and wellness, education or community â&#x20AC;&#x201D; within their city, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to talk with them. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about expanding our Sport for Good chapters in cities around the country. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to entertain some conversations about which cities those might be. What are the main barriers that prevent kids from getting involved in sports? Is it more a financial issue or a lack of available programs? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little bit of everything. I was having a conversation with a young man at the University of Tennessee a couple of days ago. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about 10 years older than my daughter. And we were talking about the fact that between his age at 23 and my daughter at 13, somehow kids stopped playing outside. If my daughter gets physical activity itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the context of school and PE class or some organized sport. We have the resources, but the only way to get her active is to do some sort of formal program. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worse for kids in the inner cities or areas where there may be crime or it may not be safe to play outside. Secondly, if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to pay to play, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so expensive. Some of the programs my daughter wants to be involved with in volleyball and now track are really cost prohibitive for a lot of families. So the nice thing about what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to do, and what these programs do that we fund, is that the cost is much, much lower â&#x20AC;&#x201D; if there is a cost to the kids at all. $QGLW¡VSDLUHGZLWKSURJUDPVWKDWDUHKHOSLQJWKHPRÍż the playing field as well. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tutoring program, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a mentoring program, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a program thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really going to help them develop socially and emotionally. And weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to measure the progress. Laureus is a global organization. Are the issues in the United States different than the rest of the world? I would say they vary. In the U.S., we have some cities where the level of violence and kids not going to school and not JUDGXDWLQJDQGQRWĂ&#x20AC;QGLQJ employment are probably â&#x20AC;&#x153;OUR MISSION NOW as bad as any city in the IS TO CHANGE THE world. But I think it looks LIVES OF YOUTH GLÍżHUHQWRQWKHRXWVLGH:H have programs in the MidAND STRENGTHEN dle East we fund that are COMMUNITIES dealing with whole communities, religions, counTHROUGH THE tries that are at war with POWER OF SPORT.â&#x20AC;? each other. And kids are literally caught in the crosshairs. I think that in other countries the issues are in many cases more dire and more relative to their actual existence and safety and security and education. What was your introduction to organized sports? I had two parents who were educators and they were amazing. They didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any access to organized sports, but they wanted us to play music and participate in extracurricular DFWLYLWLHV,VWDUWHGSOD\LQJVRIWEDOODWĂ&#x20AC;UVWEXW,ZDVKRUULEOHÂł so horrible that the coach said later when I was there to get an award after I had won my gold medal, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yeah, when I saw her play when she was 7 or 8 years old, I never would have thought sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d become a world-class athlete.â&#x20AC;? I clearly hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t found my thing. [Laughs.] I think it also speaks to the developPHQWRIVNLOOV-XVWSXWWLQJVRPHRQHRQDVRIWEDOOĂ&#x20AC;HOGZLWKRXW teaching them how to throw the ball and hit, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kind of hard. SportsTravelMagazine.com

I tried gymnastics because I watched Olga Korbut compete in the Olympics and was inspired to be a gymnast. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10â&#x20AC;? now and I was well on my way by the time I started gymnastics, so that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work out all that well. But the gymnastics coach was the track coach at my middle school. She said, â&#x20AC;?Benita, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen you run in PE class. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re faster than all the boys. You need to come out for my track team.â&#x20AC;? She didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t WDNHPHRÍżWKHJ\PQDVWLFVWHDPEXWVKHGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\UHGLUHFWHG my energy to something she thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be better at. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what teachers are supposed to be for, on the lookout for kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; talent and encourage that talent. And she certainly did that for me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;EVERY SINGLE You mentioned being DAY OF MY LIFE inspired by Olga Korbut. What role can the OlymI THANK GOD FOR pic Games play in what THE OPPORTUNITY youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to accomplish at Laureus? TO PARTICIPATE We had a great conversaIN SPORTS.â&#x20AC;? tion with the head of public affairs for the IOC, Philip French, in November. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m on the IOC Women in Sports Commission. I brought Andy Griffiths, who runs our global foundation, with me and we had an hourlong meeting. We left the meeting, all of us, thinking itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a matter of if weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to work together, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a matter of how. Laureus globally and the IOC globally have very aligned missions. We could help activate on the grass-roots level where the IOC could stay higher and keep inspiring the world through sport. Laureus can bring the kids along who are inspired by that to participate. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly some synergy there. You won your gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles. What do you think about the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bid to host the 2024 Games? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so excited. I get updates every day or every other day from somebody. I just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait until [the decision in] September. They are so deserving. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best bid everâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ever. They should get it. You never know whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to sway the decision, but it for sure wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not prepared. How did winning that gold medal change your life? Everything would have been different. Winning the gold medal gave me a platform of my own. My high school coach recently said to me that she had been frustrated at the time by the lack of commercial success that I was able to glean from winning a gold medal. I think she saw some of P\WHDPPDWHVDQGRWKHUVUHDOO\EHQHĂ&#x20AC;WĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOO\DQGJDLQ in popularity and she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that happening for my girl?â&#x20AC;? [Laughs.] But she said she felt my career and my life have been enhanced far more and for far longer than many others because of the career path I chose. Certainly the gold medal helps to open the door and then your hard work benefits as well. She was just reflecting on the fact WKHUHDUHPRUHZD\VWREHQHĂ&#x20AC;WIURPWKDWWKDQMXVWEHLQJRQD Wheaties box. Not to say thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anything wrong with that â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I certainly wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have turned it down if the opportunity presented itself. [Laughs.] But I feel blessed with every job I ever had. Every single day of my life I thank God for the opportunity to participate in sports, what it did IRUP\VHOIFRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQFHZKDWLWGLGIRURSHQLQJGRRUVHGXFDtionally for me and to give me a platform to build a career. February 2017

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Destination Feature

Big Events In the Great Plains Destinations across the heartland never stop thinking of creative ways to produce memorable events in a variety of venues By Rachel Carter

In the Great Plains, the big cities have small-town charm and the VPDOOWRZQVKDYHELJFLW\DPHQLWLHVEXWQRZKHUHZLOO\RXĂ&#x20AC;QG´ELJ city attitudes.â&#x20AC;? Visitors are sometimes surprised by localsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; welcoming QDWXUH NQRZQ VLPSO\ DV ´0LGZHVWHUQ QLFHÂľ :UHVWOLQJ KDV D VWURQJKROGLQVHYHUDOVWDWHVDQG%0;LVDQXSDQGFRPLQJVSRUW Residents love their ice hockey, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also diving into swimming. Although brand-new arenas, world-class stadiums and specialty sports complexes help attract events, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the people â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from convention bureau staff members to club volunteers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who keep event organizers coming back to destinations in this hospitable region.

Iowa City: Grappling for Events Iowa Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation is largely built around the University of Iowa. And the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation is largely built around LWVZRUOGUHQRZQHG,RZD:ULWHUV¡:RUNVKRSZKLFKSURPSWHG UNESCO to designate it as a City of Literature â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the only American city to have earned that title. 7KDQNV WR WKH XQLYHUVLW\ WKHUH¡V DOVR ´D ORW JRLQJ RQ KHUH ZLWK DWKOHWLFVÂľ VDLG 0LFKDHO 5RRQH\ PDQDJHU RI VSRUWV development for the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The combined area, which includes the communities of Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, has a total population of about 160,000.

Brian Ray

The Grapple on the Gridiron wrestling event between the Iowa and Oklahoma State universities at Iowa Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kinnick Stadium set the NCAA wrestling attendance record.

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Courtesy of SMG

Destination Feature

In March, Professional Bull Riders will return to the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the third consecutive year.

Wrestling is the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s No. 1 sport, and after hosting the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, NBC dubbed Iowa City â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wrestling Town, USA.â&#x20AC;? In fall 2015, the university set out to break the NCAA dual-meet attendance record by organizing Grapple on the Gridiron, both a university dual and a spectacle showcase between Iowa and Oklahoma State that was held at Kinnick Stadium. More than 42,000 fans came out, smashing the previous record. United Wo r l d Wr e s t l i n g , t h e s p o r t â&#x20AC;&#x2122; s international federation, also recently awarded Iowa City the 2018 Freestyle World Cup, and Dan Gable, an Olympic wrestler and former coach at Iowa, helps cultivate the homegrown wrestling community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the mind of wrestlers, (Iowa City) is the place to be,â&#x20AC;? said Rooney said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have extremely involved fans who are excited about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening here.â&#x20AC;? Cycling and swimming events are LQFUHDVLQJO\Ă&#x20AC;QGLQJDKRPHLQWRZQ I n S e p t e m b e r, J o h n s o n C o u n t y Fairgrounds hosted the International Cycling Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (UCI) Cyclo-Cross World Cup, only the second North American city to do so, and organizers are hoping to lure the circuit back next year. The event drew an estimated 10,000 fans from around the globe and 28

| February 2017

was broadcast around the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the people who had never heard of Iowa City or even Iowa were able to be here and enjoy it,â&#x20AC;? Rooney said. The growing swimming market is driven by the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natatorium. This competition facility is part of the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center and includes a 50-meter pool, spectator seating for up to 1,200, a diving well and a recreational pool. Although often used for youth meets, the facility welcomed the NCAA Division I Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Swimming & Diving Championships in 2015. Hockey will be a fresh focus when a new, 6,216-seat arena and sports complex opens in the summer of 2019 at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville. Construction is scheduled to start this spring on the city-owned facility, and plans include one sheet of ice to start (a second one is planned in a future phase); five indoor gymnasiums for basketball or volleyball; and an indoor WXUIĂ&#x20AC;HOGIRUEDVHEDOODQGVRIWEDOO7KUHH more courts can be added over the ice when needed. The universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball program is interested in using the new facility for a more intimate setting in place of its 15,400-seat CarverHawkeye Arena, Rooney said.

Fargo: Surprising Visitors Mention Fargo, North Dakota, and LW¡VDOZD\VWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWKLQJWKHPRYLH

The television show. Despite the fact WKDWQHLWKHUZDVDFWXDOO\Ă&#x20AC;OPHGWKHUH many think they know what they will ILQG LQ )DUJR D VOHHS\ VQRZERXQG city that hibernates in winter. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not necessarily the case. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re surprisingly unexpected,â&#x20AC;? said Kali Mork, director of sports for the Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We love that people have heard of it, but they have a preconceived notion of what the city will be like, and when they get here theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so surprised.â&#x20AC;? Visiting teams, fans and event RUJDQL]HUVĂ&#x20AC;QGWKDW)DUJRLVYLEUDQW has a lot going on â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no matter the season â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually a destination of three sister cities, which include West Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, something that enhances options. The Fargo metropolitan area is home to 230,000 people and three NCAA colleges bolster the sports VFHQH1RUWK'DNRWD6WDWH8QLYHUVLW\ a Division I school; Minnesota State University/Moorhead, in Division II; and Concordia College, also located in Moorhead and part of the NCAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Division III. But one stereotype of the city does KROG WUXH )DUJR KDV ORWV RI LFH Âł  sheets of ice in the greater area. The West Fargo School District is currently building two more, and the 5,000-seat Scheels Arena opened a second sheet in June. Scheels has hosted the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships, the 2011 Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s & Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Curling Championships â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an event that is scheduled to return in 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the 2014 Olympic Curling Trials and the 2015 NCAA Division I Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ice H o c k e y C h a m p i o n s h i p We s t Regionals, which will return in March. Also popular is the F-M Curling Club, which has six ice sheets and hosted the 2017 USA Curling Junior National Championships in January. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(The) youth hockey scene in our community is huge,â&#x20AC;? Mork said. The Fargo Youth Hockey Association organizes the Squirt International tournament over three weekends every February. With 192 teams, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the largest hockey tournaments in the country, she said. Wrestling is another big market, with a team at NDSU and an active local community. FargoDome, an 18,700-seat indoor stadium on the NDSU campus, hosts the USA SportsTravelMagazine.com


The Great Plains

Wrestling Junior & Cadet Nationals, which has come to the city every July for the past two decades. The stadium also welcomes the annual state high school wrestling tournament and the youth Rumble on the Red Wrestling Championships. Each June, a local soccer club hosts the Tri-City Storm Youth Soccer Tournament, which draws more than 160 teams to the 10-field Pepsi Soccer Complex in Fargo and the Moorhead Soccer Complex in Moorhead. Perhaps surprisingly, considering Fargoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frosty temps, swimming is an area in which Mork said the FargoMoorhead Athletic Commission is focusing. The West Fargo School District is building the Hulbert Aquatic Center, set to open in August with six diving boards, a 54-meter competition pool and a therapy pool. The pool is actually being reassembled from the temporary competition pool used during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Omaha, Nebraskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CenturyLink Center; a local Fargo group bought and then donated it to the school district. The new center â&#x20AC;&#x153;is

really opening up a lot of doors for us,â&#x20AC;? Mork said, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The kids who swim in that pool will be swimming in the same pool as Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps.â&#x20AC;?

Sioux Falls: Ever-Growing Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota, where the current population of 173,000 has more than doubled since 1980 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but without feeling like it, said Krista Orsack, who is director of marketing for the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau and also grew up in the city. As part of its growth, Sioux Falls has opened several new sports facilities over the past few years: The Denny Sanford Premier Center opened in September 2014, the Scheels IcePlex a month later and the Sanford Pentagon a year before. All have resulted in a booming sports market. Sioux Falls has â&#x20AC;&#x153;now built up our resume from youth all the way to collegiate,â&#x20AC;? Orsack said.

Before the 302,000-square-foot Denny Sanford Premier Center opened, Sioux Falls primarily relied on the 7,100-seat Sioux Falls Arena, but the NCAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Summit League took a chance on the city and decided to host its menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball tournaments there starting in 2009. Every game was sold out that year, Orsack said, noting proudly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We filled the seats.â&#x20AC;? In March, the 2017 Summit League Basketball Championships will return for the eighth consecutive time. The city also hosted regional competition of the NCAA Division I Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Basketball Tournament for the first time last March and regularly hosts Augustana University home basketball games. The Sioux Falls Arena is attached to the Sioux Falls Convention Center, ZKLFKRÍżHUVPRUHWKDQVTXDUH feet of event space, and the connected Denny Sanford Premier Center can seat up to 12,000. A few miles north is the Sanford Pentagon, home to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the 2016 NBA Development

Metropolitan amenities and a hometown atmosphere. â&#x20AC;˘ Community Bowl for football, soccer, and track and ďŹ eld events â&#x20AC;˘ Venues for baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, aquatics and more â&#x20AC;˘ Multi-use sports and event center with 200,000 total square feet â&#x20AC;˘ More than 3,500 sleeping rooms

LEAVE BOUNDARIES BEHIND AND CONTACT US TODAY.

NoBoundariesND.com SportsTravelMagazine.com

February 2017

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Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau

Destination Feature

The Star City BMX venue in Lincoln, Nebraska, has attracted several events in the sport, including USA BMXâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gold Cup series.

League champions. The venue has two professional-sized courts, six high school courts and the 3,200-seat Heritage Court. At the youth level, softball and soccer are huge, and major tournaments rotate through every couple of years. Last year, Sioux Falls hosted the Amateur Softball Association of America/USA Girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 14-Under Class A Fast Pitch National Championship tournament, and in June it will host the 2017 U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championships, an HYHQWH[SHFWHGWRĂ&#x20AC;OOPRVWRIWKHFLW\¡V 5,000 guest rooms. Softball events use Sherman Park, with nine lighted Ă&#x20AC;HOGVDQG+DUPRGRQ3DUNZKLFKKDV HLJKWOLJKWHGVRIWEDOOĂ&#x20AC;HOGVDQGVHYHQ baseball diamonds. The parks are used by the University of Sioux Fallsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; softball and baseball teams, respectively. Soccer tournaments generally use Yankton Trail Park, ZKLFKKDVĂ&#x20AC;HOGV Both volleyball and hockey are growing markets, thanks to new facilities. The Sanford Sports Complex is KRPHWRQLQHIRRWEDOOĂ&#x20AC;HOGVVL[LQGRRU tennis courts and a field house with a 62,000-square-foot turf field. An 82-room hotel is just across the street. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also home to the Pentagon, which 30

| February 2017

hosted the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship in December, and the three-sheet Scheels IcePlex. Although hockey has never been as big as it is in, say, North Dakota, â&#x20AC;&#x153;thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely a love for hockey h e re , â&#x20AC;? O r s a c k s a i d . â&#x20AC;&#x153; F o r b o t h volleyball and hockey, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to Ă&#x20AC;QGHYHQWVZHFDQEULQJKHUHÂľ

Lincoln: Comeback Capital Nebraskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital city isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily known for sports or tourism, but one visit is all it takes to change that opinion. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to get people here sometimes, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very easy to get them to stay and come back once they see what Lincoln has,â&#x20AC;? said Derek Bombeck, sales development manager for the Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau. Bombeck said the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sportsloving populace is the reason so many tournaments and teams return year after year. Lincoln is home to some 277,000 residents, and many are devoted Cornhusker fans. Both the University of Nebraska/Lincoln and Nebraska Wesleyan University also offer the use of their facilities to various events that draw local crowds. In 2015, Lincoln hosted the State Games of America, and with more than 15,000 participating athletes from 48 states, it was the biennial eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest gathering.

The event featured 67 sports and used UNLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 7,097-seat Bob Devaney Sports Center and its 90,000-seat Memorial Stadium as well as the 15,500seat Pinnacle Bank Arena for opening ceremonies, competitions and the Athlete Village. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People from New York couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe how clean the city was; people from California couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe how safe it was to walk around at night; and everybody was impressed by the entertainment district and the venues,â&#x20AC;? Bombeck said of the State Games. Another successful event was the 2016 NORCECA Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic 4XDOLĂ&#x20AC;HUDWKUHHGD\YROOH\EDOOHYHQW that drew more than 10,000 spectators on the final day. It was held at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Although the city is a strong backer of traditional sports, â&#x20AC;&#x153;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very diverse, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really doing well in some of the more non-traditional sports,â&#x20AC;? such as bowling, BMX and rollersports, Bombeck said. In July and August, the USA Roller Sports National Championship brought more than 4,000 athletes, coaches and officials to Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Speedway Village to compete in roller derby, rink hockey, slalom, speed skating and figure skating competitions. Lincoln has now hosted the national championship 28 times in the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 50-plus-year history, but last summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event marked the first time all five roller sports were represented. Speedway Village can host a variety RIVSRUWV,WKDVQLQHVRFFHUĂ&#x20AC;HOGVDQGD VTXDUHIRRWLQGRRUĂ&#x20AC;HOGKRXVH With the new complex, Lincoln is bidding on a USA Ultimate college regionals event and more USA Football events, Bombeck said. T h e Wo r l d Yo u t h B o w l i n g Championships brought more than 300 bowlers from 37 countries to Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sun Valley Lanes last summer. The XBowling Intercollegiate Team & Singles Championships are scheduled to return to Lincoln in 2018, and the city is a stop on the P ro f e s s i o n a l Wo m e n â&#x20AC;&#x2122; s B o w l i n g Association Tour. Star City BMX, based locally, has been able to attract and host major events nearly every year â&#x20AC;&#x201D;such as the DK Gold Cup Championship Final (a USA BMX event) in September and the Cornhuskers Nationals in 2014 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thanks to the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volunteers and members, Bombeck said. SportsTravelMagazine.com


The Great Plains

According to John David, chief operating officer of USA BMX and BMX Canada, USA BMX keeps returning to Lincoln because of its partnership with local officials but also “from a visiting standpoint, it’s a fun town,” he said, noting the abundance of restaurants and entertainment options in the historic downtown. “It really just fits the bill,” David said.

Springfield: A Sports Hotbed Springfield, Missouri, has more than a few things to brag about: It’s home to nearly 170,000 residents; several universities, including Missouri State, Drury and Evangel University; and the original Bass Pro Shops as well as the company’s headquarters. And then there’s the basketball scene. Southwest Missouri in general, a n d S p r i n g f i e l d i n p a r t i c u l a r, traditionally have been basketball hotbeds, said Lance Kettering, executive director of the Springfield Sports

Commission. The city hosts the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions, an annual high school basketball tournament that just marked its 33rd year in January with 26,979 spectators over three days. Six out-of-state teams and two local teams competed at the 11,000-seat JQH Arena. That tournament’s success over the years helped Springfield land the 2017–2018 state high school basketball championships, which had been held in Columbia for decades. “That was a big win for us,” Kettering said. JQH Arena will host the boys’ and girls’ Final Four and title games for the next five years. (The city also won the 2016 state football championships, which were played at MSU’s Plaster Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend.) Since 2009, the National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships has brought 350 teams to the city for a week, using about 30 courts at area high schools, park facilities, private venues, universities and colleges and even a church. Other basketball venues

include a three-court facility called The Courts and the four-court Fieldhouse Sportscenter. Kettering said that the popularity of soccer in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, has “filtered down” to the Springfield market. Softball and baseball are also strong sports in the area. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board manages a great park system with great facilities, he said. Notable venues include the Killian Softball Complex, used by the MSU softball team, with a 1,080-seat softball stadium and five other fields, all lighted; the Cooper Park & Sports Complex, with five lighted baseball fields, 14 outdoor soccer fields and an indoor soccer field; the Cooper Tennis Complex, which has 17 outdoor lighted courts, 12 indoor courts and the 2,500-seat Mediacom Stadium Court. The tennis complex is next to Lake Country Soccer Complex, which has 20 fields. All of the complexes are within walking distance of each other. “That whole swath of land is a hub for sports,” Kettering said.

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Destination Feature

Hockey is a growing market for the city and is primarily played at Mediacom Ice Park, which offers two sheets of ice. Springfield also will host the USA BMX Mid America Nationals this year at the Spokes BMX track.

Garden City: Small-town Charm Garden City, in western Kansas, is closer to Colorado (about 70 miles) than to Wichita, Kansas’ largest city (about 200 miles away). With a population of about 30,000, the city can’t claim bigness, and its residents don’t want to; instead, they claim kindness, thoughtfulness and helpfulness. “Once you’re here, you’re home,” said Roxanne Morgan, executive director of the locally based Finney County Convention & Visitors Bureau. That’s not to say the city doesn’t have much to offer sports-event organizers. Garden City is home to two championship-level golf courses, making it “the golf mecca hidden out

here on the Plains,” Morgan said. Buffalo Dunes is an 18-hole, par-72, municipally owned course that was designed by Frank Hummel. Four miles north is the private Golf Club at Southwind, designed by Donald Sechrest and originally opened in 1980 as the Southwind Country Club. The Garden City Charity Classic is a Symetra Tour tournament — a developmental feeder for the LPGA— that has been an annual stop in recent years. The 2017 NJCAA Men’s National Championships is a new event for Garden City and will bring about 20 teams to Buffalo Dunes in May for the first time. Buffalo Dunes was the host course for the American Junior Golf Association Kansas Junior in June, and both Southwind and Buffalo Dunes also hosted the Kansas Golf Association’s Kansas Amateur Match Play championships in July — the fourth time the tournament has been held in the city. The city’s sports markets are as diverse as the city, where residents speak 35 languages other than

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English. Wrestling, soccer, rugby, softball and baseball are all popular and growing. The Rocky Welton Wrestling Invitational is not only one of the longest-running events on the city roster, but also one of the toughest, perhaps because “around the entire region, wrestling is a very strong sport,” Morgan said. The annual tournament, which just marked its 59th year with some 400 wrestlers, is held the last weekend in January at Garden City High School, whose gymnasium seats up to 2,500. The popular invitational is getting to the point where there isn’t room enough for all the teams that want to participate, she said. Garden City has nine turf soccer fields, including those at the Garcia Soccer Complex and the Martin Esquivel Soccer Complex, which is also used for rugby tournaments. The Garden City Jackalopes Rugby Club organizes the Beef Empire Days Rugby 7s tournament every summer for men’s and, for the first time last year, women’s teams, several of which come from the surrounding states. Last year’s event drew 10 teams. Garden City Community College has a full athletics department, and its facilities include Williams and Broncbusters stadiums, used for baseball and football, respectively. The school’s football team won its first NJCAA national championship in December, scoring in the last 30 seconds to beat Arizona Western at the El Toro Bowl in Arizona.

Great Plains: Great Partners

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In the Great Plains, event organizers will find great partners at every level, be it sports commission and CVB staff, city officials or club volunteers. The region also offers every kind of sports venue, from sprawling outdoor complexes with space for hundreds of teams to intimate indoor facilities that help energize competitors. Whether it’s at a multipurpose arena or a massive stadium, teams and athletes will feel like everything comes together in these states, setting the stage for outstanding performances. SportsTravelMagazine.com


Winners and Losers

A More Perfect Union The country needs a signature international sports event to bridge our many divides

L

ike many Americans on January 20, I was fixated on the pageantry of Inauguration Day. There is powerful symbolism in bringing all the characters—outgoing president, past presidents, vanquished primary opponents, the legislature, the judicial branch and however many (was anyone BOB LATHAM counting?) citizens—into the process by which power is transferred. This particular Inauguration Day had more central characters involved than any in recent memory, but in keeping with tradition, their daggers were put away for a short time and for a noble purpose. The commentators all spoke about how uniquely American this process and ceremony are, and that is no doubt true. But other countries have something that we do not have—a ritual that frequently brings people of all political stripes and walks of life together to feel national pride and cheer for a singular national purpose. How do they do it? They have a national team playing an international game in their national sport against a traditional and competitive rival. We do not have that, and I wish we did. It would bring a sense of common purpose to the nation more often than once every four years, and in a more lasting way. When India plays Pakistan in cricket, the population of each country is united in support of its team. When Argentina plays Brazil in soccer, national pride and national identity are at stake. There are many other examples. One reason we Americans do not have a similar dynamic is that our collective passion is diffused through many different sports. The Olympics offer a great sense of national pride, but that pride is spread throughout multiple sports and events. In single-sport events, golf’s Ryder Cup certainly creates national excitement and pride for golf fans every two years, but it doesn’t go to the core of the country in a “we are all in this together” way. Even on our signature sports day, Super Bowl Sunday, we take different sides. The other impediment is that our most popular and most indigenous sports do not feature national teams engaging in truly competitive international events. Imagine if we had a national team of American football, and that other countries became proficient in that sport. Could you imagine a team of SportsTravelMagazine.com

NFL stars traveling not to Orlando or Hawaii to play patty cake against each other but rather to Moscow to play the Russian football team in, say, the Putin Cup? Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott, Julio Jones and Jordy Nelson all on the same team would temporarily halt divisions between Patriots fans and Falcons fans, between Cowboys fans and Packers fans. The fact that many prominent players choose not to play in the World Baseball Classic, as well as the competition’s newness, keeps it from capturing the national psyche. Baseball will be back in the Olympics in 2020, but there isn’t a signature opponent for the U.S. team that would unite us in that moment. There have been isolated historical moments when there was such a game, the most significant being the USA–Soviet hockey game in the 1980 Olympics. The United States against Canada in Olympic hockey also has tremenTHE OLYMPICS OFFER dous allure, on both the A GREAT SENSE OF men’s and women’s side, with the 2010 men’s gold NATIONAL PRIDE, BUT medal game being about as THAT PRIDE IS SPREAD good as it gets. However, THROUGHOUT MULTIPLE there are many pockets in the country where hockey SPORTS AND EVENTS. is not on the radar. The closest thing we might have on a recurring basis is our national women’s soccer team. I was in a suite at Globe Life Park watching the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels when the U.S. women played Japan in the 2015 FIFA World Cup final. Even though there were three or four future Hall of Famers on the baseball field, everyone I saw in the vicinity of the TV screens was watching when the United States and Carli Lloyd went on a scoring spree. But who is our signature opponent for that team? Japan? China? Canada? And the competition isn’t annual, so even if it were a great uniter of American citizens, it doesn’t happen often enough to bridge our many rifts. So while our founders in their everlasting vision created a mechanism for us all to get along for one day every four years on the political field, it’s a shame they didn’t similarly create such an opportunity on the playing field. Do I dare raise the specter of a constitutional amendment? Bob Latham is a partner at the law firm Jackson Walker, L.L.P., and a World Rugby board member. A compilation of his best columns titled “Winners & Losers: Rants, Riffs and Reflections on the World of Sports,” is available in the Media Zone at SportsTravelMagazine.com. February 2017

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SPORTS EVENT & FRANCHISE BIDDING HIGHLIGHTS 2017 – 2018 National Armwrestling Championships STATUS 2017 event open for bids through February 20, 2017; 2018 event open for bids through May 1, 2017

HISTORY Columbia, SC, 2015 – 2016 Buffalo, NY, 2014 Columbia, SC, 2013 Indianapolis, IN, 2012 Buffalo, NY, 2011

INSIDE TRACK The 50th annual National Armwrestling Championships will be staged July 2017 and the 51st annual event will be in July 2018. Event requirements include a ballroom; a minimum seating of 300; a minimum 20-foot-by-30-foot stage; a PA system with a hand-held microphone in the ballroom; a minimum of six complimentary hotel rooms; a meeting room for registration; and a dance floor and bartender(s) for a Saturday night reception. Contact Karen Bean with the American Armsport Association at (423) 272-6162 or armsport@bellsouth.net.

2017 – 2019 U.S. Quidditch Association Events STATUS Open for bids through April 17, 2017

HISTORY Kissimmee, FL, 2017 Columbia, SC, 2016 Rock Hill, SC, 2015 North Myrtle Beach, SC, 2014 Kissimmee, FL, 2013

INSIDE TRACK Quidditch is a mixed-gender, full-contact sport based on the sport from the Harry Potter Series. U.S. Quidditch’s major annual events include eight regional championships, which are qualifiers for the U.S. Quidditch Cup, the national championship and the season’s premier event. USQ is currently accepting bids for regional championships and the cup for the 2017 – 2018 season (August to May) and the 2018– 2019 season (August to May). Contact Joe Pickett, USQ location coordinator, at (941) 773-9974 or joe.pickett@usquidditch.org.

2018 USA BMX National Race Series STATUS Open for bids through May 5, 2017

INSIDE TRACK USA BMX is accepting bids for its 2018 National Race Series. The 2017 schedule includes 43 national races and 2018 should be similar. Events occur over weekends and include races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Approximately one-third of the events have an additional status of “Olympic qualifier” where riders can qualify for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. National events can be hosted at local BMX tracks or within a covered arena. Contact John David, USA BMX chief operating officer, at (480) 961-1903 x112 or john@usabmx.com.

HISTORY Various cities

2018 – 2020 USA Fencing National Tournaments STATUS 2018 – 2019 bids open through March 1, 2017; 2019 – 2020 bids open through July 1, 2017

INSIDE TRACK USA Fencing is accepting bids for its national tournaments covering the 2018–2019 season and the 2019–2020 season. Proposals are evaluated on a rolling basis and tournaments may be awarded to cities that have submitted bids in advance of the deadline. USA Fencing will accept bids from any city, CVB, sports commission or fencing division interested in hosting. Venues must have a minimum of 180,000 continuous square feet. Contact Christine Strong Simmons, USA Fencing director of operations, at (719) 866-3620 or c.simmons@usfencing.org.

HISTORY Various Cities

2020 FISU World University Championships STATUS Open for bids through September 27, 2017

HISTORY Various cities

INSIDE TRACK The Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire has launched the bidding procedure for the 2020 FISU World University Championships. Unlike the organization’s Universiade event, the WUCs are multiple single-sport events. But in 2020, the season will also include proposed sports clusters for events, with several events staged in one location such as combat sports (boxing, karate, Muay Thai, sambo, wrestling and wushu) and mind sports (chess, bridge, etc.). FISU member associations interested in bidding should fill out a letter of intention and send it to championships@fisu.net for more information.

RECENTLY AWARDED ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY 2017 Major League Triathlon June 3 Venues: Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City Boardwalk Contact: Atlantic City Sports Commission at (609) 449-7144 AURORA, ILLINOIS 2017 USSSA National Championship Great Lakes Fast-Pitch Girls Softball 14U, 18U Class B tournaments Venue: Stuart Sports Complex Contact: Aurora Area CVB at (630) 256-3190

DETROIT, MICHIGAN 2018 FIRST Robotics Global Championship April 25 –28 Venues: Cobo Center, Ford Field Contact: Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau at (313) 202-1800 EDMONTON, ALBERTA 2020 International Triathlon Union Grand Final Venue: Various locations Contact: Edmonton Events at (780) 917-7661

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 2017 Red Bull Air Race Finale October 13–15 Venue: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Contact: Visit Indy at (800) 323-4639 OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY 2017 American Cornhole Organization World Championship, July 26 Venue: Owensboro Convention Center Contact: Owensboro-Daviess County CVB at (800) 489-1131

SARANAC LAKE, NEW YORK 2017 World Snowshoe Championships, February 24–25 Venue: Riverside Park Contact: Sarnac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at (518) 891-1990 VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA 2018 Canadian National Skating Championship, January 8–14 Venue: University of British Columbia’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre Contact: Tourism Vancouver at (604) 682-2222

To submit information for inclusion in the Bid Bowl, please visit SportsTravelMagazine.com. 34

| February 2017

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Sports Travel - Feb 2017