How to Start a Sports Commission

By Sam Boykin, September 12, 2016

A growing number of cities and counties are creating sports commissions to capitalize on the booming financial opportunity. Typically, these organizations work to attract, market and often manage sports-related events, boosting tourism dollars in the process. There are currently about 130 sports commissions in the United States, a number that has risen steadily over the years. This year, Akron, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, entered the arena. Connect Sports talked to several industry veterans who had tips for starting and maintaining a successful sports commission.

Determine why you’re launching one.

Is it to host more events? Is it to better market your city? “You need to have a clear understanding of your vision and mission rather than just a desire to put your name out there,” says Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.

Oakland recently hosted the U.S. Rowing Master National Championships, a prestigious four-day event that attracted many of the country’s top rowers.

NAIA is now accepting bids to host its 2021 and 2022 Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships. RFPs are due Dec. 1.

With more than 40 years experience in facility management and safety, Harold Hansen knows his way around risk assessment and security.

From its wide array of complexes to locals’ embrace of the outdoors, Richmond, Virginia, is putting itself on the map as an elite sports destination.

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