New Focus on Attracting Sports Tournaments, Conventions to CT

The newly formed Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau (CCSB), which brings together the former Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau and the State Department of Economic and Community Development - now with  oversight responsibility for state tourism programs - could be the key for a renewed effort to attract events to the state.  The convention and sports bureau is a private, nonprofit agency, funded by $1.3 million in state funds, with  a 40-member sports advisory board, already established by state law.  An op-ed in The Hartford Courant Sunday proposed a reinvigorated effort to attract sports-related tournaments and conventions, including use of state natives whose athletic success has been noteworthy (such as NHL Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick of Hamden).   Also in the news:  AEG Facilities’ Chuck Steedman, Senior Vice President & General Manager of the XL Center, has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the CCSB and the Chair of the commission’s sports marketing arm.  And a longtime activist in encouraging sporting events in the state, Jay Sloves of the marketing firm Elkinson & Sloves, was among those receiving recognition in the final awards ceremony of the GHCVB last month.  Also recognized were Robert J. Martino of the law firm of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. and Neletta Cochrane of CTTransit.