Knoxville awarded new events

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville awarded new events

Posted: 11/09/2004
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced today that Knoxville would be the host city of two major amateur athletic sporting events in the summer of 2005.

The USA Track & Field Youth Outdoor Championships will be held June 29-July 3, 2005 at Tom Black Track on the University of Tennessee campus. The event draws more than 3,000 top track and field athletes from across the nation. Many past Olympians have competed in the championship and the event offers the Knoxville community the chance to catch some of track and field's elite performers compete in a variety of events.

"All of us at USA Track & Field look forward to working with the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation (KTSC) in hosting what promises to be a great event," said Ross Dunston, Vice President of USA Track & Field's Tennessee Association. "Tom Black Track is a fine facility and Knoxville has a well-earned reputation for hosting great youth sporting events."

Also announced was the inaugural USSSA Sports Festival, which will make its debut in Knoxville July 17-30, 2005. More than 5,000 male and female athletes will compete in basketball, softball, baseball, and soccer with the competitions taking place at a variety of Knox County schools, parks and fields.

"The quality and quantity of Knox County facilities plus the community's proven success at hosting large youth sporting events such as the 2002 AAU Junior Olympic Games were the two main reasons event organizers chose to launch the Sports Festival in Knoxville," said Jud Teague, USSSA's Director of Program Development.

The two events represent a combined projected economic impact of $8 million.

The awarding of the two events to Knoxville was the result of a bid and selection process that the KTSC used to showcase Knoxville's convenient location and top-flight facilities to event organizers.

"We are a tremendous drive-in destination for amateur athletics," said KTSC President & CEO Gloria Ray. "Knox County venues, the wonderful facilities at the University of Tennessee really make Knoxville stand out."

More than 20 cities expressed interest in hosting the USSSA Sport Festival. Ultimately, Knoxville was chosen over three finalist cities - Cincinnati, Ohio, Des Moines, Iowa, and Virginia Beach, Va.

Preceding the news event at Market Square Pavilion in downtown Knoxville, a promotional sign-up drive was held on the Square to encourage awareness and interest in Team Knoxville, the volunteer-based event services staff that lends vital support and manpower to help manage and coordinate large-scale events. To run smoothly, both the USSSA Sports Festival and the USA Track & Field Championships will rely on volunteers.

For more information on Team Knoxville, please contact volunteer supervisor Lisa Richardson at 865-342-9108.