SBD/10/Sports Society

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         If the Orlando Area Sports Commission doesn't improve their
    performance in the next year "the agency is doomed," according to
    Gene Yasuda of the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  Created in '92, the
    commission was "unveiled as a turbo-booster of sorts, promising
    to make Central Florida a sports capital while feeding the area's
    tourism industry."  But in two years, the commission "has endured
    two leadership changes, struggled to raise money from the
    region's private corporations and now is on the verge of losing
    the political support" that helped create the group.  The new
    President, Randy Johnson, faces the challenge of revamping the
    commission. Johnson: "We're the No. 1 tourist destination.
    There's no reason why we can't become the sports capital of the
    world, too."  Part of Johnson's strategy is to "link the
    commission to more popular, mainstream" pro sports, such as
    getting the Devil Rays' to set up their spring-training
    headquarters in Seminole or Osceola counties, and asking the
    Magic to apply as a host site for one of the five U.S. Olympic
    basketball exhibitions that will be played by Dream Team III. The
    commission's support from the private sector has been "lukewarm
    at best" and some business leaders "aren't convinced" the
    commission's events will produce enough benefits to entice major
    corporations to donate funds (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/7).
         L.A. STORY: The city of Los Angeles has named Diane
    Hovenkamp as President of the "newly formed" L.A. Sports and
    Special Events Authority, according to the L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL.
    The authority is a unit of the L.A. Convention and Visitors
    Bureau. She was formerly President of the Orlando Area Sports
    Commission (L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/6 issue).

    Print | Tags: Orlando Magic, Sports in Society, Tampa Bay Rays
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