Lunch anyone? An overwhelming “Yes!” was the answer to that question back in 2007 when the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) was looking for just the right forum to introduce itself to the community. Nine years and many successful annual luncheons later, we are thrilled beyond imagination.
Last month, my staff and I joined sports tourism professionals from across the country in Milwauk
Baseball season has begun across the country – and that will soon include West Michigan. We’ve just opened the new championship-caliber Art Van Sports Complex for its first full season of baseball and softball – and we’ve got an impressive lineup already!
From 1981-1988, Calvin College could say this proudly because we hosted the NCAA Men’s Division I
Team sports have always been a part of my life. I played every form of neighborhood sports since I can remember – think dodge ball, kick the can, softball – and then organized sports after that. I even enrolled in a football officiating class while in college, refereeing middle school, pee wee and rocket football for many years.
Success in sports is measured in many ways. One marker of success, especially at the West Michigan Sports Commission, is the number of “firsts.” Our purpose is to promote and attract youth and amateur sporting events to the region to grow our local economy and improve our quality of life. One way to do that is to challenge ourselves to bring new events and tournaments across a variety of sports. And 2014 was a banner year – not only for the region, but for Michigan. Take a look at some of the highlights of our year:
The West Michigan Sports Commission, Experience Grand Rapids and Meijer State Games of Michigan hosted the National Congress of State Games (NCSG) Annual Symposium Oct. 13-15, 2014 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
The 11th year of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon is Oct. 19. It seems like yesterday when the event was born.
In October 2003, when the Millennium Park was being developed, we explored some of the trails being paved in connection with the project. My running buddy (and co-conspirator) Shawn Sweet and I were doing math along the way.
Our conclusion: “A couple of 13-mile out-and-back loops, and we could put on a marathon here.”
After seven years of planning and two year