May 24-25, 2017
Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa

Stephen Rodriguez, Sr. Vice President, Florida Sports Foundation

The 2017 FSF Sports Summit brings together representatives from Florida’s 27 Sports Commissions and Sports Events Rights Holders from around the country.

More than 30 presenters from a variety of sports will share their information with Florida’s finest sports tourism promoters throughout the day on Thursday, May 25 at the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa.

Click the event program link below for the daily agenda and schedule of presenters. Check back for updates throughout the day on Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25.

Event Program

Day One Highlights – Wednesday, May 24

Brian Hickey, Executive Director, Tallahassee Sports Council

As representatives of the state’s 27 sports commissions introduced themselves to begin the meeting, they were asked to share their favorite event hosted in their area over the last year. With the State of Florida hosting over 3,000 sports events annually, their answers showed the variety of sports and events that produce a $57 billion economic impact annually for the the Sunshine State. See the responses below:

  • USA Weightlifting Collegiate and Under 25 National Championships, hosted by the Gainesville Sports Commission
  • U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, hosted by the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
  • Miami Open Tennis Championships and Miami Marathon, hosted by the Miami-Dade County CVB
  • Sunshine State Games International Beach Games, hosted by the St. Pete/Clearwater CVB
  • Beep Baseball World Series, hosted by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
  • FSHAA State Softball Championship, hosted by the Treasure Coast Sports Commission
  • American Youth Football National Championship, hosted by Experience Kissimmee
  • Swatch Beach Volleyball, hosted by Broward County Sports Development
  • Navy/Notre Dame Football Games, hosted by the Jacksonville Sports Council
  • Wrestlemania 33, hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission
  • FSHAA State Baseball Championship, hosted by Lee County Sports Development
  • FSHAA State Basketball Championship, hosted by Polk County Sports Marketing

Scott Nichols, Executive Director, Fish Florida

Mike Grissom, Interim President and CEO, Enterprise Florida

Following the Sports Commission meeting all Summit attendees met on the hotel pool terrace, since a late afternoon shower rolled in, for a mix and mingle reception.

See photos from the reception and Thursday’s meeting at


Day Two Highlights – Thursday, May 25

FSF awards Florida Sports Commissions for their efforts

The Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, presented six awards to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in the State of Florida. The events were awarded or held between April 1, 2016 and April 15, 2017

The awards were presented at the FSF’s annual Sports Summit, held this year in Jupiter, held in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The awards presented included:

  • Best Awarded Event of the Year: Miami Super Bowl 2020, Greater Miami CVB (Awarded 11/4/16)
  • Large Market Event of the Year: 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, Tampa Bay Sports Commission (Held 1/6-9/17)
  • Mid-Market Event of the Year: Easton Gator Cup, Newberry, Gainesville Sorts Commission (Held May 26-30, 2016)
  • Small Market Event of the Year: Babe Ruth Softball 12U & 16U World Series, Treasure Coast Sports Commission (Held 7/28-8/3/16)
  • Small Market Venue of the Year: Champions Park, Newberry, Alachua County, Gainesville Sports Commission
  • Venue of the Year: International Polo Club, Wellington, Palm Beach County Sports Commission

Select quotes and facts from 34 presenters on Thursday, May 25

“LA 2024. What an opportunity.” Alicia McConnell, U.S. Olympic Committee

“Do newsworthy things to bring programming to youth.” Al Kidd, National Association of Sports Commissions

“We’re pretty busy in a great way.” Casey Keiber, U.S. Masters Swimming, on sanctioning over 500 events a year.

“Let’s play some NAIA ball.” Mike Higgins, Executive Director, NAIA, which features 250 colleges and 65,000 student athletes

Nearly 90 attendees from the Sports Tourism Industry attended the 2017 FSF Sports Summit

“USA Fencing was founded in 1891 and has members ranging in age from 8 years old to 91 years old.” Christy Strong Simmons, USA Fencing

“If you can play….. you can play.” Kimberly Hadley, International Gay and Lesbian Football Association

“American Junior Golf Association events have a $3 million economic impact annually in Florida.” Adam Rogers, American Junior Golf Association

“Major Beach Soccer is a new, emerging, growing and trendy sport seeking Olympic status.” Steve Adair, Major Beach Soccer

“Archery tag is a fun, interactive sport that engages the whole family and is a combat sport that is safe.” Josh Branham, Global Archery

“Since summer is so hot and humid in Florida, ice rinks are a great place to be.” Scott Kudmore, U.S. Figure Skating on the 22 ice rinks in Florida

“I’m the last presenter of the day and the only thing between you and an adult beverage.” Mike Hoyer, American Youth Soccer Organization

Reception and Dinner at PGA National

Chris O’Brien’s presentation of his Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa getaway from Stephen Rodriguez featured an appearance by Tim Ramsberger, of Visit St./Pete Clearwater and Ryan Ritchie, of Polk County Sports Marketing

The 2017 FSF Sports Summit came to a close with a reception and dinner at the PGA National Golf Course. Chris O’Brien, of the Panama City Beach CVB won the opportunity to return to the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa after the golf ball with his name written on it was pulled from the hopper by Stephen Rodriguez.

Besides a three-day/two night stay at the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa, O’Brien’s gift bag include $100 in restaurant gift cards, sunscreen and a beach towel.

Follow the 2017 FSF Sports Summit on Facebook and Twitter for highlights from both days and like the Florida Sports Foundation on both social media outlets.


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