Sport Wayne Ready to RollPosted: Updated:
A new sports commission in Fort Wayne is tasked with attracting sporting events and supporting local programs. Sport Wayne Inc. is a result of a youth sports study commissioned last year by the city.
February 6, 2015
Fort Wayne, Ind. -- Fort Wayne has announced the launch of Sport Wayne Incorporated, an independent sports commission tasked with improving Fort Wayne's economy and civic pride by hosting world-class sporting events, supporting local programs, and connecting citizens to new athletic opportunities.
Sport Wayne Inc. president and CEO Corey Ford said the initiative is a result of the city's 2014 youth sports study by national consultants Aquarius and Victus Advisors that identified the need for an independent sports commission in order to cultivate the city into a national sports destination.
"Fort Wayne has cornerstone sports organizations in place and some excellent facilities to build around," Ford said. "By collaborating with these existing sports programs, we can create new avenues for development, tourism, and participation."
He said for years, Fort Wayne has been ahead of the curve thanks to grassroots organizations like Gym Rats Basketball, Fort Wayne Sports Corp, and Fort4Fitness, but the sports industry marketplace is getting more competitive every year.
According to the National Association of Sports Commissions, about 110 of these special sports organizations exist today. 90 of those are standalone entities that are independent of the city, chamber, or visitors bureaus.
President of Fort Wayne Rugby Club and A Better Fort Sam DiFilippo says Fort Wayne was one of the largest cities in the country without a sports commission.
"Economic impact, quality of life, generating national media exposure, and creating signature events are the focus of sports commissions," He said. "A devoted group of sporting event specialists will encourage Fort Wayne clubs to be more ambitious and host bigger and better tournaments, showcases, and championships."
Sport Wayne Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operating without the use of public tax dollars. Several area businesses helped support the mission of improving Fort Wayne through sports development.
Source: Sport Wayne Inc.