OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The National Association of Sports Commissions named the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority the Sports Commission of the Year yesterday in an awards ceremony attended by over 1,000 guests as part of the opening ceremonies of the 2014 NASC Annual Symposium. This is the first time the Sports Authority has received the honor.
"We are extremely honored and humbled to be recognized with this national award. It's the dedication and passion of many that have contributed to our success,” said Sports Authority CEO Janis Schmees Burke. “From the Board of Directors and staff to the various community leaders and local volunteers, this award has all of their names embedded in it."
Established in 1992, NASC is made up of over 750 sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, universities, collegiate conferences, event owners, and suppliers. NASC began its awards program in 2002 to recognize the work members conduct in their communities through economic impact, leadership, and sporting event expertise.
"All of us at the Sports Authority are extremely proud of Janis and her staff for winning this prestigious award. It just underscores what a terrific job they have been doing in bringing sporting events to this community," Sports Authority Chairman J. Kent Friedman said. "Because we pay off the bonds that were issued to finance our professional stadiums with hotel-motel tax and car rental tax, bringing these kinds of events to town significantly adds to the ability to make those payments."
The greater Houston area will continue to see unique sporting events throughout 2014 as international rugby returns to BBVA Compass Stadium in June, over 500 volleyball teams will participate in USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships at the George R. Brown Convention Center, racing returns to NRG Park with the Shell Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, more than 3,000 participants will take part in the 2014 Transplant Games of America, an estimated 9,000 athletes will compete in the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at Turner Stadium, and the SWAC football championship returns to NRG Stadium in December.