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Sports Commission Tees Off
GRAND RAPIDS — Public officials, community leaders, hotel operators and restaurant owners will gather on Tuesday in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to discuss the possibility of creating a sports commission that could improve the area’s hospitality industry.
“The idea of a sports commission intrigues me, personally. I believe that we can attract some AAU teams and others to help out the occupancy rates in outlying
Morgan has been part of a small group that has met a few times informally this spring about forming the commission. He told the Business Journal that Tuesday’s meeting will be the first official step in the process. But he emphasized that the meeting was a chance to share ideas and to learn what needs to be done.
“We’re just huddling, trying to design plays on how this would work. I don’t want you to think that we have an end-zone strategy at this point,” said Morgan.
A commission would hope to lure prominent events here like the NCAA Division I Hockey Quarterfinals that will be played at Van Andel Arena again next March and the National Golden Gloves Tournament that is coming to town in May of 2008.
“The booking of the Golden Gloves shows there is much more out there, which will help fill our hotels,” said Steve Wilson, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
But the commission’s mission wouldn’t be limited to just drawing high-profile sporting events to the city, as
“The parents, brothers and sisters all accompany the athletes to the event and there is a good fan base. We’ve done pretty well with the Michigan High School Athletic Association and we think we can go beyond the state of
“We’re going to narrow the scope because there are a lot of sports out there and then kind of determine our strengths,” he added.
Funding for a commission would likely come from
“We’re going to be diligent. We’re going to give it a good vetting and then we’re going to decide,” said Morgan. “I think if the