Thursday, April 25, 2013

St. Louis is home to the Sports Commission of the Year

How many times can you work the phrase "sports commission" into one sentence? Let's see:

Frank Viverito, Marc Schreiber and the rest of the lean, mean crew at the St. Louis Sports Commission have been named Sports Commission of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions at a luncheon today in Louisville, Ky.

The sports commission was up against some tough competition from such cities as Cleveland, Columbus, Richmond, Va., and San Jose. The award was the third for the sports commission, after winning in 2002 and 2005.

Among the sports commission's achievements last year:

Staging the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Staging the USA Gymnastics Championships.
Partnering with St. Louis University to host the NCAA Division I men's basketball Midwest regional.
Organizing the inaugural Freedom 4-miler.

The award is the second of what could be a series of accolades for the sports commission. Earlier this year, the commission earned legislative approval for a tax credit for amateur sporting events, which should aid in future bids. St. Louis is one of three finalists to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials; the announcement is expected April 27. It also is bidding for the 2017 SEC men's basketball championships.

So, safe to say that the sports commission won't rest on its laurels. It also is working with its partners on events that it had been awarded previously: the 2014 NCAA Tournament second- and third-round games, a celebration of the Missouri Valley Conference's 25 years in St. Louis and the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Then there's ongoing campaigns to further St. Louis' Olympic legacy, as site of the 1904 Games, and the recently rebranded Musial Awards, an annual celebration of sportsmanship that is the best-kept secret in the sporting world.

They'll be busy. After all, they've got a reputation to uphold.

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