Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau: Madison Area Sports Commission formed to attract more sporting events to the greater Madison area

Contact: Kim Straka, Media Contact

608.772.7207 or [email protected]

(Madison, WI) The Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has announced the formation of the Madison Area Sports Commission to increase tourism spending by bringing sporting events and competitions to the Greater Madison area. The commission will also provide opportunities for area youth to experience the benefits of sports.

“The commission supports our objective of increasing visitor volume and spending,” states Deb Archer, President & CEO of the GMCVB. “Sporting events have proven to be relatively recession proof and are a growth area for Dane County’s tourism and economy.”

Under the GMCVB umbrella, the Madison Area Sports Commission will continue to attract popular events like the Ford Ironman Wisconsin, National Kidney Foundation 2010 U.S. Transplant Games and the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships. The Madison area is attractive because of its venues and facilities, avid sports fans and the affiliation with the Big Ten Conference, NCAA and WIAA.

“From Ironman to the Transplant Games to the Centurion race, big sporting events bring millions in economic impact for our hotels, restaurants, and shops,” says County Executive Kathleen Falk. “Creating this new commission will help our county roll out the welcome mat for even more of these fun and exciting events.”

The Madison Area Sports Commission’s experienced staff has specialized education and training to connect sports events rights holders, local host organizations, facilities and venues. The ultimate goal of the Madison Area Sports Commission is to build the area’s reputation as a world-class sports event destination.

The commission, which has been in the incubator stage the last three years, also hosted the annual Madison Active Sports Challenge on September 11, a free event that offered children under 18 the chance to participate in a run around the Capitol Square followed by a festival on the Monona Terrace Rooftop, as well as negotiated an extension with Ford Ironman Wisconsin through 2013, completed negotiation of three year host partner with Centurion Cycling and is pursuing many other sports business opportunities.

The Sports Commission will be a 501c3, public-private entity. Initial funding for the Madison Area Sports Commission will come from the GMCVB, whose budget is supported by City of Madison Room Tax, general purpose funding from Dane County, individual businesses and direct TOT (room tax) contributions from Middleton, Fitchburg and Verona. The Commission also received a JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) grant from the WI Department of Tourism.

“By establishing its own sports commission, the greater Madison area is sending a signal to event owners that it is serious about assembling a team that means business, both for the community and for the sports event owners,” says Donald G. Schumacher, Executive Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions

To learn more about the Madison Area Sports Commission visithttp://www.madisonsports.org. For information about the GMCVB visit http://www.visitmadison.com. The GMCVB is the official destination manager and leader of Madison and Dane County. 2009 estimated Dane County Traveler Expenditures equaled over $1 Billion.