Criteria for Evaluating Multi-City Sporting Events
Developed and approved by: Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau,
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Preface: Evaluating and addressing the special requirements of multi-city sporting events can be achieved in a variety of ways. This group reached consensus early on, that forming a separate Triangle-wide Sports Commission would be unnecessary, particularly as that would create another layer of bureaucracy and require additional funding. That decision led to the formation of these guidelines and collaboration on an ad hoc Triangle Sports Consortium, composed of representatives from CVBs, chambers, universities, relevant sports venues, and city, county, and state government.
The Triangle has had numerous opportunities to host large multi-city sporting events over the past two decades. The region's desirability as a place for sporting events has increased, and many opportunities are available to host even more of these events. In order to fairly and consistently evaluate these opportunities, the Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) in Chapel Hill/Orange County, Durham and Greater Raleigh have devised these criteria with input from each community's key stakeholders to assure that each community has a means of weighing the benefits and costs of such events.
As soon as an event is identified as a potential multi-city sporting event, whether by a CVB, a community member or sports organization, it is critical that communication begin immediately between and within those communities. Initially, when a CVB hears about a proposed event, it will network information with other CVBs and arrange for a joint meeting with the organization or individual proposing the event to learn pertinent details.
A regional sports consortium will be called together to evaluate the bid opportunity. CVBs are responsible for calling and arranging the meeting and will invite the key players to the table. Representatives will include CVBs representing visitor-related businesses and organizations like hotels, airlines, car rentals, athletic directors of universities or their designees, managers of non-university sports venues that will likely be utilized by the proposed event, representatives from universities where significant dormitory and other facilities will be used, representatives from the cities and counties involved, Chamber of Commerce representatives who can speak for the business community and the state sports development office (if state funding is likely).
Recognizing that large multi-city events require significant financial, venue and planning resources, the number and frequency of these events are important considerations for support. For events that could be contained within a single community but are proposed as multi-city (to utilize specific facilities throughout the area) compelling regional benefit should be demonstrated to overcome potential negative impact on participants, organizers and spectators.
Evaluation Criteria - Primary Considerations
- Events will be evaluated as to the direct economic return expected, in terms of direct spending, tax revenues and business climate. CVBs will research history on previous events (or similar events if the proposed event is new) and will make projections based on established (aligned) methods of estimating an event's direct economic worth.
- Timing should be such that we are in the time of our business cycle where lodging guest room supply normally outpaces demand. Ideally, events will take place during time periods when lodging properties can accommodate the needs of the participants and visitors with minimal dislocation to business already booked or expected. Generally speaking, the window of time that is most desirable is mid-May to mid-August. The optimal duration of an event would be no longer than 10 days. Care must be taken so that the major work of bidding on one event does not adversely affect the execution of another.
- Consideration will be given to the likelihood that the event can be self-supported (through a variety of funding means including earned income, media rights, services in-kind, national sponsors, local sponsors, etc.) A crucial element is consideration of whether or not enough local financial support (both public and private) is available to support the event. An estimated budget for the project, including proposed revenue sources, will be required in order to fully evaluate the event.
- Consideration will be given to the likelihood the event proposer can form a viable local organizing committee and recruit and train an adequate volunteer base.
- Consideration will be given to the implications new events would have on existing events/activities/organizations such as reduction of audience participation, funding, volunteers, sponsorship, media coverage, venue access, etc.
- Consideration will be given to the degree that the event will likely generate positive exposure for the various communities involved by demonstrating to other planners that the region and its individual communities are an excellent destination for sporting events and capable of hosting events of this magnitude and caliber.
- Events will be evaluated by their ability to enhance the region's quality of life by providing benefits that transcend sports. Some of the factors to be considered include:
- The ability of the event to promote regional cooperation among community leaders, event organizers and volunteers;
- The ability of the event to provide opportunities to youth through special promotions that make the event accessible and enticing for youth such as auxiliary programming (youth camps, clinics, competition) and/or personal appearances by leading athletes at youth organizations;
- Elements of charitable giving, with a percentage of the event proceeds donated to selected charitable organizations, or the giving of time such as hospital visits.
- Educational elements such as athlete appearances at schools, stay-in-school programs, professional seminars or forums on relevant topics.
When it is determined that the event presents a good opportunity and the communities involved decide to move forward, event organizers will be encouraged to form a local organizing committee. CVBs will take the lead in developing the written bid, utilizing a wide variety of resources (including the local organizing committee) to provide assistance. They will fact-check and network information within a core group of the consortium and beyond as appropriate to align. Upon being awarded the event, it is important to note that the branding and positioning of these events will be under a regional umbrella with distinction for the individual communities involved in the various events. Efforts will be made to eliminate confusion for visitors and the media. Organizers and communities will agree up front as to the specific positioning for each event and will apply this consistently and accurately to all event materials including press releases, collateral, etc. Multi-city events will be identified by the name of the region, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill or Research Triangle Region, NC. When individual competitions within an overall event are referenced, the city name where the competition or single event is taking place may be used.
After careful consideration of many factors, a community, CVB or Chamber may decide that the proposed event is not desirable or feasible for them to support and may decline the opportunity to participate in hosting the event. Community organizations desiring to move forward with the bid will evaluate hosting the event on their own in the city or cities where support is demonstrated, or by partnering with other communities, institutions or organizations. As the initiative unfolds, a CVB, Chamber or specific venue has the right to withdraw involvement without prejudice. Individuals involved in this process will respect the decisions made by each community, venue or organization and refrain from politicizing the process to encourage a different outcome.