SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue
If you attend a
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."
working events in
college at Coastal Car-
olina University and
entered the Sports
Venue and Event
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
— 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
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
"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
Keeping the 17
fields ready for play
is a priority.
"Making sure the
field quality is well
and that our field
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."
"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
2017 Readers' Choice
Award Winners cont.
Visit KC, Kansas City Convention
& Visitors Association
North Platte/Lincoln County CVB
South Sioux City CVB
MGM Resorts International
& Visitors Authority
Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
Lake George Chamber of
Commerce and CVB
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Meet AC/Atlantic City
continued on page 30
Facility and Event Operations Manager
Tulsa Sports Commission