19 Sporting Events to Watch in 2019

19 Sporting Events to Watch in 2019

By Matt Swenson, January 14, 2019

Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships

The biggest event in wakeboarding begins July 25 in Monroe, Washington. Amateur and professional competitors, ages 7 to 55, will participate over the course of four days, hoping to be crowned national champions.

WNBA All-Star Game

Mandalay Bay Events Center is coming up aces, as in the Las Vegas Aces. The WNBA team launched in 2018 and is hosting the All-Star Game July 27, another sign that Las Vegas is becoming a professional sports capital.

RSL Soccer Showcase

Real Salt Lake didn’t complete a new soccer facility to see it sit idle. The inaugural RSL Soccer Showcase should draw 200 international teams to Salt Lake Aug. 7-10, with more in the following years. Teams from Mexico, Canada and Europe have already committed to attend.

Ride Across Wisconsin

Things are looking up for the fifth incarnation of this statewide bicycle ride. A new course moves cyclists along a northern route, beginning in La Crosse and concluding in Green Bay. About 800 participants are expected to ride Aug. 16-18.

National Hockey Festival

The new 15-field Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay was impressive enough to convince Justin Miller and the USA Field Hockey team to bring their largest event there in year one. About 3,000 young athletes will fill 10,000 room nights in Tampa, marking the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the NGB and destination.

USA Track & Field National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships

Madison, home to the 2018 NCAA Cross Country National Championships, will be running wild with USATF National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships Dec. 14. Yahara Hills Golf Course will host 3,000 athletes for the event, making its way to Wisconsin for the first time.

WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship

Washington’s Ronald Reagan Building is no stranger to international events, but it’s safe to say this elite squash completion is a first. It will be home to three days of exhibition matches and a championship dinner. But the event is really a showcase for Squash on Fire, a relatively new venue that revolutionized the sport with its pay-as-you-go-model. The 19,700-sq.-ft. facility includes eight championship courts.

Connect Sports is pleased to introduce to you the winners of the 2019 Connect Sports Tourism Excellence Awards, presented by SportsNC.

The Softball Players Association is seeking bids to host its 2020 Senior World Championships. RFPs are due Nov. 9.

All attendees at Connect Sports 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, can attest that this year’s conference was our best. Here are the highlights.

Holly Anderson, a key player in the sports tourism industry for more than a decade, has been promoted to lead Connect Sports.