How did you get involved at the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau and what has been your proudest moment since coming on board?
I spent five years at the CVB in Lubbock, Texas, learning a lot about servicing sporting events. I’ve always kept an eye on Fort Worth because I felt like it had a ton of potential in the sports tourism space. My wife is originally from this area so when the opportunity arose, we jumped at the chance.
One of my proudest moments here in Fort Worth was actually at US Sports Congress in Reno, Nevada a few years ago. I was up in my hotel room waiting to hear if we were awarded the bid for NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships. When we were awarded 2015 & 2016, I was fist pumping like Pauly D and grinning from ear-to-ear. This was the first event I bid on when I got to Fort Worth and the first NCAA Championship event to ever be held in the city.
The US Sports Congress, in its ninth year, has been to many destinations; how will Fort Worth be different from the others?
The Congress has been blessed with some fantastic destinations. Like those cities, I think Fort Worth will put a unique spin on the event with our Western flair. I hope everyone packs their boots and jeans. I’m really looking forward to showcasing our local flavor on the Booze, Brews & BBQ Tour. The opening party at Billy Bob’s Texas, which is the world’s largest honky tonk, should be a lot of fun. Like a lot of our visitors, I think attendees will be pleasantly surprised by all Fort Worth has to offer.
What are the top three events coming to Fort Worth (in the next 12 months) that you’re most excited for?
We are really excited to be hosting USA Gymnastics Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships in May and the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships again in April. (As you can see, Fort Worth really loves its gymnastics.) Even though it doesn’t create a huge economic impact YET, we are also pumped about hosting US Foot Golf’s National Championships and Convention. It’s an emerging sport and we are proud to have hosted their first major event.
What makes Fort Worth a unique host for sports groups and events?
Fort Worth has all the luxuries and amenities of a big city with the convenience and friendliness of a small town. Not only is our downtown vibrant and full of energy but it is also one of the safest in North America. DFW Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world so we are really easy to get to. We have world-class museums, amazing history, fantastic facilities and more. Fort Worth is truly the complete package. It’s a very fun and easy destination to promote.
What’s next for sports in Fort Worth?
We are asking ourselves that same question right now. When I came to Fort Worth, sports was just another market segment at the CVB. In the past two-plus years, it has really grown into a major part of our business. We have had some great success and we really want to be strategic in how we capitalize on it and grow our efforts. We are working with the Huddle Up Group on an expansion plan for the future which will likely include a shift to a blended sports commission business model. We want rights holders to know that Fort Worth knows how to host their sporting events and won’t just treat them like conventions in shorts. We are excited about the future of sports in Fort Worth.
To learn more about Fort Worth and their top sports facilities, visit their Site InSpection here.