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The mission of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission is to provide leadership, guidance and marketing expertise in attracting regional, national and international sporting events and activities to benefit Greater Columbus economically and socially.
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission routinely works with The Ohio State University, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew and many other local groups and grass-roots organizations to attract international, national, regional and state-wide sporting events to Central Ohio.
In recent years the city has hosted the first- and second-round of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments (the only city in the nation to host both tournaments on the same weekend in many years), the NCAA Frozen Four, the men's ice hockey equivalent of the Final Four; the NCAA Men's College Cup, the men's soccer equivalent of the Final Four; MLS Cup and MLS All-Star Game, FIFA Women's World Cup; men's World Cup qualifiers; and the training camp for the United States' team that participated in the World Cup of Hockey.
The city also regularly hosts the National Softball Association Girls Fast Pitch World Series, which attracts more than 500 teams and more than 30,000 fans to Berliner Park, the largest softball complex in the United States with 31 fields.
The Greater Columbus Convention Center each year hosts several national volleyball tournaments, including USA Volleyball-sanctioned events that are run by the USAV's Ohio Valley Region. In fact, nearly 10,000 teams and more than 116,000 volleyball players have competed inside the convention center since it opened in 1993.
Columbus also often hosts regional and national fencing tournaments, thanks in large part to Ohio State coach Vladimir Nazlymov, a three-time Olympic team gold medal winner and two-time individual medalist.
The city's 12 sheets of ice -- 10 have opened since 1988 -- are beginning to attract the attention of sports event organizers across the country. Columbus hosted the United States Figure Skating Association Governing Council Meeting in 2005, the World Cup of Hockey Training Camp in 2004 and Ice Skating Institute's World Championships in 2001.
Events held in Columbus are guaranteed to have an exceptional experience. GCSC staff works closely with each event to develop a comprehensive service plan. Services may include educating the local community and hospitality industry about your event, providing signage and banners to welcome fans and participants, and making sure all visitors have detailed information on things to see and do while in Columbus customized to the interests of your group and the dates you are visiting.
- Aaron Motley
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