17 Events to Watch in 2017

17 Events to Watch in 2017

By Matt Swenson, January 9, 2017

There’s no shortage of sporting events to be excited about in 2017. We cut the list to 17 for you.

Pro Bowl
Where: Orlando
When: Jan. 29

While a few NFL players have gone on the record against the NFL’s decision to say “Aloha” to Hawaii for its all-star game, the move makes a lot of sense (and cents). No. 1, the switch cuts down on travel costs, and more importantly, Pro Bowlers’ kids are going to love the access to Walt Disney World. The Pro Bowl joins 2016’s Copa America Centenario and April’s WrestleMania 33 as major events to be held in Camping World Stadium since its renovation.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Round
Where: Greenville, S.C.
When: March 17 and 19

South Carolina’s lowering of the Confederate flag off state Capitol grounds opened the door for March Madness’ return to Greenville. Bon Secours Wellness Arena is nearly sold out already—and with good reason. This is the first time the men’s basketball tournament has been in the state since 2002. Greensboro, North Carolina, was originally slated to host the games until the NCAA moved all championship events out of North Carolina over the debated HB2 law.

Spartan Race: Cuba Sprint
Where: Havana
When: March 18

Spartan won the race to host the first endurance obstacle race in Cuba since the island country’s relationship with the U.S. thawed. The Cuba Sprint will take on an exclusive feel with registration limited to 1,000 participants. To make the event a reality, Spartan partnered with MultiRace, a Florida-based company that also operates Havana Marathon and Havana Triathlon.

Deep South Classic
Where: Raleigh, N.C.
When: April 20-23

After a record-setting 2016 event, organizers hope to score higher with this girls’ basketball tournament featuring close to 500 teams playing on 20 courts at Raleigh Convention Center. Last year, the event totaled 9,000 room nights and brought in $3.1 million in direct spending.

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Since Southwest University Park was built in El Paso, Texas, in 2014, the minor league park has drawn big crowds and events.

After a successful first year, the US Open Pickleball Championships returns this week to Naples, Florida, bigger and better.

The LPGA’s Symetra Tour is actively working with CVBs and sports commissions to add three or four new tournaments in 2018. Bids are due in October.

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