In the spring of 2011, our writers began working on a story focusing on a new project in the burgeoning sports tourism industry: the 157-acre Elizabethtown Sports Park located in Hardin County, Kentucky.
E-Town Sports Park was one of the first sports facilities built specifically for sports tourism. Now, 10 years later, the impact of the decision by city leaders to invest in sports tourism continues to be felt.
One of those leaders wasn’t an appointed leader at all. At the start, Janna Clark headed up sports marketing for E-Town. But with her in the front seat of the project (if not at the wheel), the Elizabethtown Sports Park went from concept to creation and along the way, sparked a transformation in the city.
The Sports Park also was at the forefront of sports tourism, and still serves as a model for other destinations. Janna, now Executive Director of the Elizabethtown Convention and Visitors Bureau, has been one of several leading influencers in our industry.
In reflecting on the progress made over these past years and reading the numerous news items and articles we’ve posted, two words consistently stand out: Community and Progress.
Since inception, The E-town Sports Park was built with the community in mind. Not only is it a tourism destination, but it is also an integral part of the fabric of E-Town. And throughout these 10 years the Sports Park has progressed in terms of economic growth and facility improvements.
Put these two words together and you will get a clear picture of what the Elizabethtown Sports Park means to those involved: Community Progress.
More than a decade ago, the city leaders of Elizabethtown had a vision. And now that vision, supported and spurred on by Janna – and all those who believed in the project – has manifested in a community transformation and become a model of success, showing what a sports facility not only can be but should be.
Congratulations to everyone involved with the Sports Park. And a special nod and wink to Janna, who has been a steady, consistent, leader for the Sports Park and the community of Elizabethtown!
It’s an honor and privilege to work in this industry with you!
Scott D. Swoger
Sports Destination Management