SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2017

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Page 27 of 67

January 2017 28 SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue If you attend a weekend sport- ing event at the Mohawk Sports Complex in Tulsa, OK, and see Laura Porth working her magic, there's no need to feel sorry that you ruined her weekend plans. "What I like most about my job? I have to say that I like the weird hours," said Porth, the facility and events operations manager for the complex. "Mostly I grew up working on weekends through my whole career. So when I have a weekend off, I don't know what to do with my time." Porth started working events in college at Coastal Car- olina University and entered the Sports Venue and Event Management master's program at Syracuse, where she worked at the Carrier Dome. "I worked their events — the change- over crew — and I did everything from lacrosse, football and basketball games to concert, conventions — anything they held in the Carrier Dome," she said. "What I learned there is that I like the sports side of it more than concerts and conventions." While Porth's position is paid by the Tulsa Sports Commission, her primary duty is man- aging the Mohawk Sports Complex. "We do a little bit of everything," Porth said. "Our biggest sport is soccer but we also do Ultimate Frisbee, rugby, lacrosse, and cross country occasionally." Porth's goal is to work with event organiz- ers to see that every event goes off without a hitch. "I basically go through all the event needs with the client," she said. "I find out what you need from the facility, how you need it set up, things like that. There are general things each event gets: I make sure when are you coming. When your deliveries will come. I accept all deliveries. I work with them on time, when they will come in, how long will breakdowns take. I do insurance with them." With a lot of annual events, Porth helps find ways for them to grow. "We have a lot of events that are annual and some that are new each year," she said. "My main thing is that I try to make it better each time. It's the small details. It's 'You may not have thought about this,' so let me use my expertise to make it better for you, the athletes, the guests coming in, so as soon as they come off the highway to when they are leaving they have a great experience." Keeping the 17 international-size fields ready for play is a priority. "Making sure the field quality is well and that our field maintenance crew has done everything they can so you are playing on the best, safest surface is important," Porth said. "It's all the small details that event managers don't have to think about that I take off their hands so they can concentrate on the event." The rewards? "I love having people come into my com- plex and have a good time and have a really great experience," Porth said. "Basically, I love seeing people have a good time." In 2017, Mohawk will host the Region III US Youth Soccer Cup Regional. "That is going to be 120 teams at Tulsa for a week," Porth said. "Our local soccer club hosts an annual event [the Tulsa Soccer Club Lexus Cup] with 400 teams in April." n Catulatis! 2017 Readers' Choice Award Winners cont. MISSOURI cont. Visit KC, Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association MONTANA Destination Missoula Visit Billings NEBRASKA Lincoln CVB North Platte/Lincoln County CVB South Sioux City CVB NEVADA MGM Resorts International Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority NEW YORK Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission sports-commission Lake George Chamber of Commerce and CVB See Ad On Page 37 NEW JERSEY Meet AC/Atlantic City Sports Commission continued on page 30 Laura Porth Facility and Event Operations Manager Tulsa Sports Commission

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