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Inside SportsTravel

 

Action sports attract a wide range of fans and offer host cities many opportunities to bring high-energy events to town.

New teams and new venues are a sign of continued growth for Major League Soccer. Lower-division leagues are also capitalizing on interest in the sport by entering new markets.

Tennis events are drawing large crowds and active participants across the country, and the new USTA national campus is bound to add interest in the sport.

In cyclocross—a sport in which racers pedal cross-country and carry bikes across obstacles—competing over muddy, rutted courses in snow, ice and rain is considered an epically good time. By those standards, conditions were ideal for the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, held in January in Hartford, Connecticut. “We had it all—we had rain that froze, then snow, then cold,” said Bob Murdock, director of sports marketing for the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau.

Bass fishing events attract more than just biting fish. A growing number of organizations are offering events for host cities, allowing spectators to attend activities that stretch beyond the water.

The 35th edition of the National Hockey Festival, held over Thanksgiving weekend, was a field hockey feast for all involved. The festival is one of the largest annual amateur sporting events in the country. More than 5,000 athletes, family members and friends attended the event at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

Thanks in large part to the popularity of “The Hunger Games” books and movies, archery has gained and enjoyed a boost in event participation and pop culture. While there are archery centers specific to the sport, convention centers and ballrooms have hosted successful archery events in recent years. The United States has also seen some success at the Olympic and Paralympic level, which is adding to the growth of the sport. And other creative spin-offs of bow-and-arrow competition are catching on across the country as well.

Michael Whan is all smiles when talking about the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s current state and its bright future—and for good reason. When he became the LPGA’s eighth commissioner in 2010, the tour was doing its best to rally from a bleak time in its history, the result of a global recession, financial losses and management tumult.

Speed and endurance are marquee attributes of competitive cyclists. And they’re what fans come to see at the organized cycling races contested nationally and internationally each year in a variety of disciplines including road, mountain, track and BMX.

Running events still draw a crowd, but new research is shedding light on what features will keep future generations racing to the finish.

When you set about building a 140-foot big air ski and snowboard ramp in a 104-year-old ballpark for an event that has never been staged before, any number of things could conceivably go amiss. But by all accounts, February’s Polartec Big Air at Fenway was deemed a success, leaving the door open for more such events at the longtime home of the Boston Red Sox—and perhaps elsewhere.

The 2016 NHL Coors Light Stadium Series came to an end February 27 and did so in memorable fashion at Coors Field in Denver. The game marked the 18th outdoor event the NHL has staged since the 2003 Heritage Classic in Edmonton, and the third this season following the New Year’s Winter Classic in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and a Stadium Series game in Minneapolis the week before.

In a nod to long-held traditions, the largest U.S.-based sanctioning bodies in auto racing—IndyCar and NASCAR—are heading back to the brickyard and the beach, so to speak, this season to celebrate significant milestones for two of the biggest events on the motorsports calendar: the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.


Events

 

The SportsTravel Road Trip, an educational event designed for sports organization CEOs and event directors, was held at USA Cycling’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, May 17. Presented by SportsTravel and sponsored by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Louisville Sports Commission, the SportsTravel Road Trip included a fast-paced, custom-curated afternoon of programming and concluded with an informal networking reception and tours of USA Cycling’s headquarters building.

For the second consecutive year, the SportsTravel Road Trip provided the leaders of sports organizations with an opportunity to participate in a content-rich educational session. Sponsored by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, the SportsTravel Road Trip was held at the Penrose House and Penrose Heritage Museum in Colorado Springs.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Mendoza—the first woman to work as an analyst during a Major League Baseball post-season game—will emcee the 2015 SportsTravel Awards ceremony. The winners of the 2015 Sports Travel Awards will be announced during a gala ceremony on the evening of Tuesday, November 10, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The SportsTravel Awards are presented in conjunction with the TEAMS Conference & Expo, the largest annual gathering of sports-event organizers in the world, which will be held November 9–12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles 2024 has unveiled its official bid logo and slogan for its effort to land the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. At a ceremony on the top floor of the USC Downtown skyscraper, more than 100 Olympians and Paralympians joined bid leaders and city officials to unveil the new markings and slogan, “Follow the Sun.” The soaring figure of the logo is a symbol of athletes reaching for their dreams, according to bid leaders. “Follow the Sun” is a reference to the city’s year-round sunshine, as well as the “perennial optimism and constant reinvention” that characterize the world’s entertainment capital, according to a release describing the slogan.

The Amateur Athletic Union announced that it will open a new office in Anaheim, California, in partnership with Visit Anaheim’s newly formed Sports Anaheim division.