Destin, FL (7/26/19) – The 2019 Florida Sports Summit hosted by the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, brought together representatives from Florida’s 31 sports commissions and sporting events rights holders from around the Sunshine State, United States, and even Colombia. The Summit featured presentations, certifications courses, and a marketplace that allowed commissions and right holders to network, showcase each group’s future opportunities to host events, and encourage groups to Come Play in Florida.
To cap off the Summit, the Florida Sports Foundation held the Inaugural Larry Pendleton Dinner where it presented seven awards to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in the State of Florida.
The Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC) received two awards for Alachua County and their efforts in sport tourism in their community. The GSC was awarded Mid-Market Event of Year for the 2018 US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championship and the Mid-Market Venue of the Year for Legacy Park Multipurpose Center.
The list of awards winners for each market:
Best Awarded Event of the Year: WrestleMania, Tampa Bay Sports Commission
Small Market Event of the Year: Torhs 2Hot4Ice National Championships, Florida’s Sports Coast
Mid-Market Event of the Year: 2018 US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championships, Gainesville Sports Commission
Large Market Event of the Year: Winter Equestrian Festival, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Venue of the Year: PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Small Market Venue of the Year: Southside Sports Complex, Columbia County Sports Commission
Mid-Market Venue of the Year: Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, Gainesville Sports Commission
Description of the two Florida Sports Foundation awards follows.
Mid-Market Venue of the Year: Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, City of Alachua
In October 2017, the first sports events at Legacy Park were hosted by the Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC) and since then has brought an estimated $2.45 million dollars of visitor spending into Alachua County with the help of 16,046 visitors and 7,550 local hotel room nights. Legacy Park has allowed the GSC to bid on more sports events that the GSC was unable to host due to not having a large enough facility available. Since 2018, the GSC has won bids for gymnastics, pickleball, fencing, basketball and cheerleading. The City of Alachua’s Legacy Park Multipurpose Center has created additional economic impact for the Alachua County and made a positive difference in our community.
Mid-Market Event of the Year: 2018 US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championships
The 2018 US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championships was hosted at various venues throughout Alachua County, with the main gym being the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, on June 28th – July 1st, 2018. This was the first time the US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championships were held in Alachua County. Following a Fan Fest on Thursday, the first game of the 2018 US Amateur Boys Basketball National Championships tipped off on Friday morning and ended Sunday night with the national championship games. Throughout the weekend, over 3,000 of basketball players, coaches, and spectators from all over the nation stayed and played in Alachua County. The estimated overall economic impact of out-of-state attendees was $403,080 with total local hotel room nights of 1,790. It was a successful national event to showcase Alachua County to out-of-state attendees.
“The Gainesville Sports Commission is proud to be recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation with two awards during our annual industry summit for Mid-Market Event of the Year and the Mid-Market Venue of the Year,” said Executive Director, Joleen Cacciatore Miller. “It’s an honor to be able to represent Alachua County in sports tourism and showcase our incredible venues and events. The State of Florida offers facilities in every part of the state that can host a wide variety of sports events and it is great to be have Alachua County acknowledged as a top leader in our market!”
Florida Sports Foundation
Jason Hendrix, Director of Communications
Gainesville Sports Commission
Joleen Cacciatore Miller, Executive Director
The Florida Sports Foundation
The Florida Sports Foundation, a 501(C) 3 non-profit corporation, is the official sports promotion and development organization for the State of Florida. It is charged with the promotion and development of professional, amateur, recreational sports, and physical fitness opportunities that produce a thriving Florida sports industry and environment. With a seemingly endless list of sporting ventures and venues, the Florida Sports Foundation strives to promote Florida’s unique sports industry. The Foundation’s staff is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of Florida’s sports community and assists with all questions concerning Florida sporting activities and issues.
About the Gainesville Sports Commission
Founded in 1988, the Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC) is a not-for-profit organization that strives to promote tourism through sports while creating a positive economic impact on Gainesville and Alachua County. The Gainesville Sports Commission is a liaison that brings sporting events to our local community and assists with hosting, creating and supporting over 45 events annually. Since its inception, Gainesville Sports Commission has directly contributed more than 300 million dollars of economic growth. By bringing participants and spectators to sporting events, Gainesville Sports Commission creates approximately 20 million dollars annually of direct economic impact for our community.