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Travel Salem Launches Sports Commission to Drive More Sports Tourism to the Mid-Willamette Valley

10 Sep, 2018


Travel Salem, the destination marketing and management organization for Oregon’s capital city and surrounding region, is pleased to announce the formation of the Salem Area Sports Commission (SASC). The Commission will serve as the official sports tourism organization dedicated to marketing the Salem area as a premier, year-round destination for sporting events that drive positive economic impact to the region.

In 2016-17, the estimated economic impact from conventions, sports and events in the Salem region was $10,122,896.  “Across the nation, the sports tourism industry continues to grow, with organizations looking for prime locations to hold large tournaments,” says Angie Onyewuchi, CEO of Travel Salem.

“With the formation of the Salem Area Sports Commission, we now have one cohesive group that can help bring more visibility to the assets and venues in our area, heighten the visitor and event planner experience and drive positive economic impact, which supports local businesses and an enhanced quality of life,” says Onyewuchi.

The SASC includes a dedicated Travel Salem staff person as well as 15 to 20 volunteer professionals from the region’s top sports venues, colleges, corporations, amateur sports clubs and the hospitality industry.

“The Salem region matches up really well in terms of the quality of sports venues and assets we have to offer, as well as the personal level of service we can provide to event planners and tournament organizers,” says Toby Olsen, regional director/partner with HHM Group, LLC and chair of the newly formed Salem Area Sports Commission.

“Our initial goals as a commission will be to identify opportunities for bringing new events to our region, work more closely with high schools and colleges and build a structure that ensures that event participants and organizers have a great experience – so that they’ll return to our region in the future,” adds Olsen.

The SASC receives its primary funding through Salem and Mid-Willamette Valley lodging tax collections as part of the Travel Salem tourism bureau. Additional funding sources may include event sponsorships, grants and fundraising events.

To learn more about the Salem Area Sports Commission, contact Matt Bonniksen, Travel Salem’s Sports & Events Sales Manager, at 503-581-4325 x159 or mbonniksen@travelsalem.com.

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