A big sports-related conference will return to Louisville in time to take advantage of the newly renovated convention center and the new Omni downtown.
When the TEAMS ’18 Conference and Expo comes to Louisville in October 2018, the four-day conference will have an estimated $1.4 million economic impact.
“That’s really just the tip of the iceberg” though, said Timothy Schneider, president and CEO of Schneider Publishing Co., which organizes the TEAMS Conference and publishes SportsTravel magazine. Schneider added that sports-related travel is a $200 billion industry.
The conference will bring together about 1,200 people from youth, collegiate and professional organizations for an event that allows them to meet with different cities to pick which city will host their own conventions and events.
While other cities will have a booth at the conference, Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said attendees will get to see Louisville and its amenities in person. The TEAMS conference will bring with it the opportunity to book millions of dollars in additional convention and tourism business in the future, she said.
The Louisville CVB had to “invest” in the TEAMS conference to attract it to the city, Williams noted, adding that it will be worth it. She declined to say how much it invested, citing competitive reasons.
The conference will take place Oct. 1-4 in the newly renovated Kentucky International Convention Center. The downtown center has two more months of demolition before construction work begins on the $207 million upgrade.
Conference attendees also will stay in the more than $300 million Omni Louisville, which is slated to open in early 2018, as well as in the Louisville Marriott Downtown and Hyatt Regency Louisville.
“This is another great vote of confidence in Louisville,” said Ellen Hesen, chief of staff to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, adding that tourism creates 3,600 jobs in Louisville.
This is the second time the conference will be held in Louisville. It was first held here in 2007.
“Louisville is a destination that truly gets sports,” Schneider said, noting that the city is home to the Kentucky Derby and Muhammad Ali.