SportsTravel announced the winners of the 2018 SportsTravel Awards during the TEAMS ’18 Conference & Expo in Louisville Wednesday afternoon. TEAMS: Travel, Events And Management in Sports, is the world’s largest gathering of event organizers and travel planners from the sports industry. Held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, the awards ceremony was emceed by Rebecca Lowe, who hosts NBC’s Premier League and Olympics coverage. The National Congress of State Games also announced the winners of its Athlete of the Year awards during the awards ceremony.

The 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, was named Sports Event of the Year, as well as Best Collegiate Sports Event Series or Circuit. Other winners were the 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, California; the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the 2017 National Youth Baseball Championships in Yaphank, New York; the 2018 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas; the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon; the 2018 NFL Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the 2017 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin; the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Washington, DC; and the 2018 MLB/USA Baseball Girls Breakthrough Series in Vero Beach, Florida.

“The SportsTravel Awards recognize the stars of the sports-event industry,” said Timothy Schneider, founder and chairman of the Sports Division of Northstar Travel Group, which publishes SportsTravel magazine and organizes the TEAMS Conference & Expo. “We are pleased to honor these outstanding sporting events for providing an incredible experience for participants and spectators, as well as the event organizers who create them and the cities that host them.”

The SportsTravel Awards program bestows honors at the amateur, collegiate and professional levels in three categories each. To be eligible, events had to occur between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Criteria for nomination and voting included:

• Superior organization of and attendance at the event
• The event provided a superior experience for competitors and/or spectators
• The event’s host city or venue served to enhance the event

The 2018 SportsTravel Award winners are:

Sports Event of the Year

2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four, Columbus, Ohio

Best New Sports Event

2018 MLB/USA Baseball Girls Breakthrough Series, Vero Beach, Florida

Best Professional Sports Event Series or Circuit

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final, Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, DC

Best Professional Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event

2017 CrossFit Games, Madison, Wisconsin

Best Professional Single-Sport Event

2018 NFL Super Bowl LII, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best Collegiate Sports Event Series or Circuit

2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four, Columbus, Ohio

Best Collegiate Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event

2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Eugene, Oregon

Best Collegiate Single-Sport Event

2018 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, Hutchinson, Kansas

Best Amateur Sports Event Series or Circuit

2017 National Youth Baseball Championships, Yaphank, New York

Best Amateur Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event

2018 Olympic Winter Games, Pyeongchang, South Korea

Best Amateur Single-Sport Event
2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships, Anaheim, California

Hosted by Louisville Tourism, TEAMS ’18 was held October 1–4, 2018, in Louisville.

Back row, (left to right): Gregg Caren/executive vice president of convention and exhibition centers at SMG; Ryan Tressel/director of championships and alliances at the NCAA; Spencer Molnar/sponsorship director for the IWF World Weightlifting Championships; Justin Bergh/general manager of the CrossFit Games; Dean Myrick/chairman of Division I basketball for the NJCAA; Rebecca Lowe/NBC Sports broadcaster; Timothy Schneider/founder and chairman of the Sports Division at Northstar Travel Group; Front row (left to right): Bob Chesterman/senior vice president of events at the NHL; Erin Jahn/senior director of events at the NFL; Lynn Holzman/vice president of women’s basketball at the NCAA; Ashley Bratcher/senior director of baseball operations for USA Baseball; and Nathan Clinkenbeard/event director for the National Youth Baseball Championships