The FSF held its first quarter Board of Directors Meeting at Marlins Park in Miami on August 11, 2017.
Highlights of the Meeting
By a unanimous vote, Jesse Biter, of Sarasota, was elected to chair the FSF for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
- President Angela Suggs was introduced and told the Board Members and Guests, “It is a pleasure and honor to accept the role as President of the FSF. The success of the FSF is evident over the last 25 years and I’m excited to come in and work with you and other sports industry leaders in the State. We will begin a listening tour with industry partners to find out what we’ve done well and explore opportunities for growth over the next 25 years and beyond.”
- The 2016-17 budget showed a growth in revenue attributable to an increase in professional sports license plate sales. The 2017-18 fiscal year budget, in excess of $5 million, was approved
- The FSF benefited from over $3 million in tag sales with approximately 121,500 tags sold, an increase of over 4,000 units from the previous year. Currently the FSF implements nine professional sports tags programs, the Olympic Spirit, NASCAR and Play Tennis tag. An Orlando City Soccer tag is still in the works and will come before the Florida Legislature in the 2018 Legislative session.
- The Tampa Bay Bucs have seen an increase in tags utilizing resources such as the Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) Vehicle being on site at all pre-season open practices at One Buc Place and games at Raymond James Stadium.
- The amateur sports report showed over 13,000 athletes competing and 27,000 attendees at the 21 Florida Senior Games Series Qualifiers and Florida Senior Games. Nearly 900 athletes who qualified at the 2016 Florida Senior Games competed at the 2017 National Senior Games in June and won 576 medals, the second most of any state.
- At the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year in June, the Sunshine State Games, attracted 9,499 athletes and over 24,000 attendees creating over $5.6 million in economic impact for the 10 host communities. The 2017 Sunshine State Games were highlighted by appearances by 2016 gold medal winning Olympians, Ashleigh Johnson, playing Water Polo and Kayla Harrison, a judo medal winner, interacting with athletes at the Palm Beach County Festival.
- It was reported the state of Florida was awarded 51 NCAA Championship events between November 2018 and May 2022. The 51 events were the second most awarded of any state. Over 90 NCAA Championship events have been contested in Florida since 2014.
- The Miami Open, an Association of Tennis Professionals event, will be held at Crandon Park, March 19-April 1 at Crandon Park. Tom Annear, of IMG Events, told the FSF Board the 2017 Miami Open provided a $386 million economic impact to the area with 38% of the attendees coming from out-of-state.
- Rick Hatcher, Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, (pictured at right) made a presentation about the events in the area. The Sports Commission was established in 1999. Hatcher noted that while the Treasure Coast Sports Commission has no city name recognition in its title, there are plenty of sports facilities and events in the area. Historic Dodgertown hosts a variety of Baseball events from FHSAA State Championships to programs run by MaJor League Baseball. Indian River State College, home of a national champion level men’s and women’s swim team, hosts many events and the U.S. Sailing Center in Martin County hosted the 2017 Sunshine State Games Sailing event.
- Claude Delorme, of the Miami Marlins, reported on recent Baseball events in Miami-Dade County including the 2017 World Baseball Classic and the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game. The 2017 World Baseball Classic had a 23% increase in attendance over the 2013 WBC and the Miami venue at Marlins Park featured back to back sellouts with the U.S. and Dominican Republic team playing in the first round in South Florida. The WBC was broadcast in 182 countries around the world in nine languages to an audience of 415 million viewers. DeLorme said, “In 36 years of working in baseball, I’ve never seen anything like the WBC crowds at Marlins Park. It was an incredible energy and intensity from the different cultures. The majority of fans were standing 80% of the game.” He also reported the MLB All Star Game had over 100,000 in attendance at three days of events at Marlins Park (Futures Games, Home Run Derby and All Star Game) and over 110,000 attended the MLB FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
- 38 grants were approved by the Board totaling more than $437,000 that will bring over 162,000 visitors and $167 million in economic impact to Florida. Included in the 38 grants are events featuring 20 different sports, held in 16 different Florida communities.
- Katherine Morrison, Deputy Director of Partnership Engagement for the Department of Economic Opportunity, reported on the status of the Florida Spring Training Funding application for the City of North Port and Sarasota County. Sarasota County is on target to break ground on the facility for the Atlanta Braves in October, to be completed by the 2019 Florida Spring Training season. The Braves will continue to play at Disney’s Wide World of Sports for the 2018 season with a one-year lease extension.
- Upcoming Board of Directors meetings will be held November 9-10, 2017, at the USTA National Tennis Center in Orlando and February 8-9, 2018, at the Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.
For more information on the events of the Florida Sports Foundation, please contact Nick Gandy, Director of Communications at email@example.com.
CLICK HERE for a pdf copy of the meeting highlights.