November 11, 2020 | Sports Destination Management
#146: November 11, 2020
The Independent High School Football Program That Defied State Orders

The Independent High School Football Program That Defied State Orders

Play anyway. That was the philosophy of an independent high school football league in Connecticut. It was created in response to the decision of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference to cancel all in-person games. The big question is whether others will follow the example of the organizers who say, "Lead, follow or get out of the way." more

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Destination Spotlight

Sports Events Shine Bright In El Paso, Texas

Situated in West Texas in the foothills of the majestic Franklin Mountains, El Paso is also known as "Sun City" due to its 300-plus days of sunshine each year. The great weather, top-notch sports venues and visitor amenities attract a broad array of events and athletes, and the city's revitalized downtown with new hotels, vibrant festivals, wealth of dining and entertainment options and relaxed desert vibe add to the appeal. more

Sports Events Shine Bright In El Paso, Texas
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Featured Destination

Arizona's New Top Tournament Destination

The city of Surprise has everything planners need in a sports tournament destination, with nationally recognized facilities, year-round sunshine, plenty of fun things to do and an events team committed to success. And after hosting more than 100 events and tournaments per year, Surprise has a proven track record. Find your place in the sun here. more

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In other news and commentary...
Tired of Traveling, California Parents Demand Return-to-Play Guidance

Parents in California are railing at officials for procrastinating on presenting the return-to-play guidance they have promised. And, they note, the state's inaction has resulted in teams moving out of state to play in tournaments like Arizona, where the medical risk is higher. Tournaments have also moved, hurting California's sports economy. more

Open for Business and Up for Bid: USA Triathlon National Championships

Ready to kick 2020 to the curb? (Honestly, who isn't?) Look to 2023-2024 and check out the RFPs for two of USA Triathlon's national-level events. The Toyota Age Group National Championships, and the Youth & Junior Nationals are both up for bid. Interested? All the materials you need can be found here, including the bid packets. more

Foley Hits the Mark with Archery Event

With about 1,200 athletes (plus their families) Foley, Alabama hosted a national archery event in late summer. The reviews were positive, vendors were able to set up shop and hotels enjoyed about 1,000 room nights. It also led to a five-year extension in hosting. Learn more about the safe event with competitors ranging from age 14 to 70 here. more

London Marathon Organizers Pull Off the First Major In-Person Race

In a season of no, it's great to see a big event go - even when that big event, a major marathon, has to be run in the rain. The bright spot on the 2020 road race calendar will undoubtedly be the Virgin Money London Marathon, which took place last month. More than 100 international elite-level runners competed in person and another 36,000 ran virtually. more

Spectators are Returning and Event Owners Say It's Past Time

From the NFL to the PGA TOUR to local tournaments, events are reopening to spectators. And even if the crowd isn't that big, it still creates an energy that athletes say makes them perform better. Event owners, meanwhile, say sponsors desperately want the fans back in the stands. Read about the movement to bring back the crowds and the economic impact. more

Judges to Parents: No Suit for You

Some parents have moved their kids over state lines so that they could play sports this fall. Others have tried to get around testing. Another tactic has been suing jurisdictions, and in some cases entire states, to force the reopening of sports. The results nationwide have been largely ineffective, with judges telling parents, "No suit for you." more

Inside Events
Inside Events: USA Wheelchair Football League

Inside Events: USA Wheelchair Football League

Football has been getting a lot of attention. From high school boys to women's flag at the college level, the sport is never far from the headlines. The latest iteration, however, creates opportunities at all levels, for all ages. USA Wheelchair Football League has made its debut, with teams in four major cities nationwide. Learn more here. more

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Instagram Photo of the Week

The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida took a hiatus for 2020 but organizers have announced plans to return to East Naples Community Park from April 17-24, 2021 | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Send us your photos! Send them directly to us or use #SportsDestinations in your posts. Select photos will be presented on, SDM Blitz and in the latest issues of Sports Destination Management magazine. Use #SportsDestinations via Twitter or Instagram

Instagram Photo of the Week
Read the latest issue of Sports Destination Management

November/December 2020

November/December 2020

As we sprint toward the end of the year, it's a good time to reflect - not on the things we can't do but on the things we have learned to do differently. This issue makes some excellent points in that regard. Randy Schreiber discusses merchandising in our current climate. Dr. Bonnie Tiell, SDM's continuing education correspondent, returns with a lesson for us all in app design and use. Kevin Klipstein discusses US Squash and Mike Higgins of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) explains the organization's football events, including the emerging sport of women's flag. And longtime contributor Nic Collins discusses housing services and the adaptations they have gone through to help attendees at a challenging time. The end of this year is at hand. Let's make the most of it. more

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Last word...

"The tennis ball doesn't know how old I am. The ball doesn't know if I'm a man or a woman or if I come from a communist country or not. Sport has always broken down these barriers."

~ Martina Navratilova

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