For the past several months, our board has been looking to form an alliance with an organization that had similar interests and would enhance our mission. We found that partner with VISIT DENVER,” stated Galloway.
Denver Sports was founded in 2001 to help bring high-profile sporting events to Denver. The organization is best known for its involvement with the 2008 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four, the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four, and the Rocky Mountain Showdown football game that matches the University of Colorado Boulder against Colorado State University. For the past 11 years, the organization also led the effort to position Denver for a possible Olympic Bid. Several board members of Denver Sports also served on the Olympic Exploratory Committee formed earlier in the year by Mayor Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper.
VISIT DENVER is a non-profit trade association and has been the official marketing arm for the city since 1909 with the mission of marketing Denver as a convention and leisure destination. VISIT DENVER has a sports department that has worked hand-in-hand with Denver Sports on bringing in major events, as well as attracting other sports events to the city such as the annual Colorado Crossroads Volleyball Tournament. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, an avid sports fan, helped lead the alignment. “This is an ideal partnership. We have a very passionate organization, Denver Sports, that wants to elevate sports for our region, and we have the city’s official marketing arm, VISIT DENVER, who has more than 100 years of experience in attracting and staging major high profile events,” Hancock said. “The city looks forward to collaborating with this formidable team to bring new and more sporting events to Denver – helping to stimulate our economy and build a national and international reputation for our world-class city.”
VISIT DENVER was a founding board member of the Sports Council in the 1990s, and also a founding board member of Denver Sports. “At VISIT DENVER, we have always recognized the economic benefit and the huge national and international press associated with sporting events, so we have had a full time Sports Director since 1996, who has been soliciting and assisting in bringing sporting events to our city,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER. “We helped bring the NCAA Men’s Final Four to Denver in 1990, The Olympic Festival in 1995 and the NBA, NHL and MLB All-Star games,” Scharf said. VISIT DENVER has also worked in tandem with Denver Sports on the Olympic Exploratory Committee, the USA Pro Challenge and with the Bronco’s on exploring a potential future Super Bowl bid.
“We are excited to join forces with Denver Sports in bringing premier high profile sporting events to Denver and we feel this move will bring synergy and savings to our efforts,” Scharf said.