SportsTravel Magazine announced the winners of the 2022 SportsTravel Awards during the TEAMS ’22 Conference & Expo in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, honoring the best events, venue and host city in the sports-event industry.
TEAMS: Travel, Events And Management in Sports, is the world’s largest gathering of event organizers and travel planners from the sports industry. TEAMS ’22 was held at the Oklahoma City Convention Center. The National Congress of State Games also announced the winners of its Athlete of the Year awards during the awards ceremony. And the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Compete Sports Diversity recognized individuals and organizations for their diversity efforts.
The 2022 SportsTravel Award winners were:
- 2022 TFN Run 4 Roses in Louisville, Kentucky, for Best Amateur Event. Hosted at the Kentucky Expo Center, the girls basketball tournament brought together 40,000 athletes, coaches and spectators, representing 48 states, Canada, Australia, Chile and Puerto Rico. The tournament was held under one roof on 68 courts.
- 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana, for Best Collegiate Event. This was the first time the game was held in a cold-weather city and Indianapolis went all out to not only make it an incredible experience for fans, but also to spread a lasting impact around the community as Georgia ended up champions by beating SEC rival Alabama.
- 2022 World Athletics Championship in Eugene, Oregon, for Best Professional Event. The first World Championships in track and field held in the United States were staged at the University of Oregon’s renovated Hayward Field with athletes from 179 nations. The event saw three world records and 13 meet records. More than 146,000 tickets were sold, with several evening sessions sold out.
- 2022 USA Volleyball Salt Lake Showdown in Salt Lake City, Utah, for Best New Event. The Salt Palace Convention Center hosted more than 70 courts over a two-week period and created an estimated economic impact of over $15 million with 30,000 attendees — the largest volleyball tournament ever hosted in Utah.
- The Podium in Spokane, Washington, for Best New or Renovated Venue. The Podium boasts seating for 4,237 and a 75,000-square-foot competition floor that features a 200-meter banked hydraulic indoor track. With the addition of this new venue, Spokane Sports has been able to host the USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships and the USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials.
- Raleigh, North Carolina, as Best Host City. The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance in the past year hosted the NCAA Men’s College Cup, NCAA Women’s Basketball First Four and First/Second Rounds, an NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Regional, the NCAA Division II National Baseball Championship, Spikeball College Nationals, the 2022 Apex Legends Global Series Championship and dozens of regional youth tournaments.
“The SportsTravel Awards recognize the stars of the sports-event industry,” said Jason Gewirtz, vice president of the Sports Division of Northstar Travel Group, which publishes SportsTravel magazine and organizes the TEAMS Conference & Expo. “As events began to come back in 2022, we were thrilled to see hundreds of worthy events nominated for this year’s awards. The winners in each category exemplify everything that we love about the sports-event industry and underscore the resiliency and power of the sports-related travel market.”
The SportsTravel Awards are nominated and voted on by the readers of SportsTravel. Criteria for nomination and voting for the 2022 SportsTravel Awards program included events that occurred or venues that opened between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.