Proposed sports commission to help bring events to Columbia

7 months 1 day 17 hours ago Thursday, October 24 2019 Oct 24, 2019 Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:05:00 PM CDT October 24, 2019 in News
By: Ian Russell, KOMU 8 News Reporter
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COLUMBIA - One Columbia group is trying to attract more sports tourism to the city.

A new sports commission was proposed at Monday's City Council meeting. The commission is trying to bring more sports business to the city.

Megan McConachie is the Strategic Communications Manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She said that the commission will align what the Bureau is already doing, while focusing in on the sports side.

"It will be people who run facilities, people who are familiar with different sports whether they're traditional or emerging sports," McConachie said. "Just kind of those who are in the know as far as sports go in Columbia. It's going to allow them to coordinate, to align, all of their efforts."

McConachie said that the board will be focused on bringing in larger events.

"What the sports commission will be able to do is have a foundation that will help us improve our sports market as we continue to try and bring in bigger and better events," McConachie said.

Amateur sporting tournaments generate $11.6 billion annually, according to a 2016 report by the National Association of Sports Commissions.

The sports commission has been in the works for almost five years, going back to 2014. McConachie said that now is the perfect time for the commission to get to work.

"We did a sports feasibility study back in 2014 that recommended we move toward organizing our efforts to bring in new events," McConachie said. "We have, of course, new facilities coming online. There's a lot of sports that have grown, we're able to devote more funds to marketing our sporting events."

There are currently 134 sports commissions across the U.S., with four currently in Missouri. The Columbia Sports Commission would be the fifth in the state. The other four are in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Joplin.

The commission is on the agenda for November's city council meeting.

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