SportsEvents Magazine

JUN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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June 2018 30 t SPECIAL Feature media and I administer 10 people to help. We put out a daily online newspaper, online photos and tons of content. With a scaled- down tournament, we are our own content creators. With major tournaments, the audi- ence is family and friends and relatives. It's amazing the number of views we receive from all around the world for something like the USA CUP. Viewers are from 10 to 12 countries and they want to watch these kids play." As far as the future of NSC, Kruse said, "We have pretty big dreams. We have 80 acres where we can still build 12 more playing fields and we are interested in building a court facility for basketball and volleyball. We are also opening three basketball and volleyball courts tomorrow and we met recently about an aquatics facility. The advantage is that we own the land and we could build on part of that land and that saves us money. We are extremely conservative here and that's another reason why we are still here." The multi-use Nathan Benderson Park has also proven to be a success in the Sara- sota-Bradenton, Fla., area. The 600-acre park incorporates a 400-acre artificial lake with a permanent FISA Class A 2,000-me- ter spring rowing and training course which last year hosted 46 events including the 2017 World Rowing Championships and this year's NCAA Women's Rowing Cham- pionships for Division I, II, and III. It will also host the World Rowing Masters Regat- ta and the ITU World Cup Triathlon later this year and the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships again in 2020 and 2021. "Our expectation is that the number of national and international events will continue to grow as we educate more rights holders that Nathan Benderson Park is not just a world-class rowing facility, but a multi-sport facility," said Stephen Rodri- guez, president and CEO of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc., the non-profit that manages the venue. "Our fa- cilities can host paddling events, road races, inline speed skating, cross country meets, cycling races and triathlons." The park features paved and natural running trails, which bring local runners, walkers and cyclists to the park every day. A finish tower is also now available on-site that includes indoor and outdoor meeting space, balconies and decks that can be used for meetings or rentable event space. Last year the park generated more than $50 million in economic impact for the lo- cal community and more than 40,000 hotel rooms were booked for sports events. "We learn new lessons every day we host an event," Rodriguez said. "The facility is still growing and all phases of the master plan have not yet been completed. This is good since we have had the opportunity to see the park in action for many different types of events, therefore providing us a chance to re-evaluate the remaining phases of the master plan." On a larger scale, major metropolitan areas with multiple multi-use facilities are another option when planners look for space to host an event. As the largest and most-visited desti- nation in Canada, Toronto is known just as much for sports as for its multicultural urban vibe. With a variety of multi-use sporting facilities both small and large, including Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena (formerly Air Canada Centre), BMO Field and Ricoh Coliseum, in addition to smaller parks, complexes and natural settings, it's more about narrowing down the field of possibil- ities and less about specialization within a market. "Exciting and vibrant, Toronto shares a deep passion for sports," said Shelley Crawford, CSEE, account director for sport business events with Toronto Tourism. With so many multipurpose venues to choose from, Crawford said sports events such as hockey, basketball, volleyball and other indoor, court or rink sports find a variety of spaces that appeal to planners and rights holders. Mattamy Athletic Centre, the former Maple Leaf Gardens, has been known as Canada's Cathedral of Hockey since opening in 1931. Recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2007, the venue has featured iconic moments such as Elvis Presley's first performance outside of the United States and a fight featuring the ► "We have pretty big dreams. We have 80 acres where we can still build 12 more playing fields and we are interested in building a court facility for basketball and volleyball." '' —Barclay Kruse, chief communications officer, National Sports Center (NSC) Rowing is one of many sporting events hosted at Nathan Benderson Park. SANCA

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