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Monday, Jan. 13, 2020

Championing A Great Year

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Sports Commission reflects on 2019 successes

Special to 318 Forum

In its ninth year of operation, 2019 was an abundant year for the Shreveport- Bossier Sports Commission (SBSC). The organization meticulously introduced and reintroduced successful sporting events to Caddo and Bossier Parish that spurred economic development. Through a year of achievement, the SBSC and its partners hosted and supported events that covered more than 35% of the calendar year. Outstanding events that shone included the annual CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally and the USA Volleyball Olympic Qualifier. The two events drew an estimated $2.1 million in economic impact to our area.

The annual balloon rally drew nearly 20,000 attendees. This family-friendly event is a critical piece of summer fun in our area with kids’ zones, vendor booths, an evening balloon glow and more. The event returns for the fifth year for more airborne festivities on June 12-13.

“Events like the CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally bring great attention to Shreveport-Bossier, and it is a wonderful opportunity for CenterPoint Energy to connect and interact with the communities we serve. CenterPoint Energy and its employees love volunteering and giving back to the community,” said Eric Barkley, district director at CenterPoint Energy.

The Commission partnered with CenturyLink Center to bring the Volleyball Intercontinental Olympic Qualifier for USA Volleyball to Shreveport-Bossier under the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The FIVB tournament consisted of six matches over three days with competing women’s national teams from the U.S. as well as Argentina, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan. The U.S. matches were streamed live on the NBC TV network.

“The USA Volleyball Olympic Qualifier was such a colossal win for our area. The crowds were engaged, and the teams experienced the top-notch hospitality of Shreveport-Bossier. The local community came together to see this event through. We had more than 50 volunteers serve nearly 800 hours. Our volunteers play an important role in developing successful events. Not all champions wear uniforms,” said Teresa Micheels, volunteer and project manager for SBSC.

In 2019, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission partnered with Bishop Promotions, LLC to bring ShowBox: Next Generation to our area. Streaming live on the Showtime TV network, this popular sports series showcases talented boxers as they brawl against each other in preparation to potentially earn the world title.

This event will return Jan. 31 at George’s Pond at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. Tickets can be purchased at www.bishoppromotions.com.

“Hosting the Showtime Championship Boxing event early last year, we witnessed the crowning of two champions on a national and international level.

The world watched as Devin Haney won the title belt as the youngest boxer. Before our event, he last fought at Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center,” said Kelly Wells, executive director of the SBSC.

Gearing up for 2020, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission partnered with the City of Shreveport, Shreveport Public Assembly Recreation, USA Softball of Louisiana and the Louisiana Office of Tourism to bring the USA Softball “Stand Beside Her” tour to Shreveport on Apr. 15 at Cargill Park. At this nearly sold-out event, the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team will compete in a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech University and the University of Louisiana Monroe. Tickets are available at www.shreveportbossiersports.com.

For more information about upcoming sporting events in the Shreveport-Bossier area, visit ShreveportBossierSports.com.

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