Championship trophies…championship teams…championship venues…and championship people

Award_Winners_300wideWe had lots to celebrate at our 43rd annual Kansas City Sports Commission Awards Banquet.  On April 18, over 700 people celebrated our city of champions.

I think all of us would agree that there are no championships to celebrate without teammates.

We are fortunate to have great teams to work with at the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC and FC Kansas City, as well as our teammates at the city and county levels like Mayor Sly James, city manager Troy Schulte and Jackson County Executive Frank White and all of their staffs.  And we would be lost without the team support from the Parks and Recreation, Police and Fire departments.

Relay_the_way_lineEvents like the World Series parade and Relay the Way do not get done without our teammates like Keli O’Neill Wenzel and her team at O’Neill Marketing and Events, and Carolyn Watley, Kyle Vena, VML and others involved with the new Urban Youth Baseball Academy.

The incredible videos we shared that night were done by my talented teammates at Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and my friend Ryan Stadlman with S Group Creations.

50th_anniversary_centerpieceOur 50 year history of the Kansas City Sports Commission doesn’t happen without our current board of director’s chair, Mike Deggendorf, or past chairs such as Tom Butch, Pete Ciacco, Ken Hagar, Bill Lucas, Bill Hall, and numerous leaders before them as well as our legal counsel Tom Busch with Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, LLP.

In the room that night were current and former Sports Commission board directors, WIN for KC advisory board members and our Young Professionals.  They, along with committee members and volunteers were asked to stand and be recognized.

We are grateful to all of them for helping build our legacy and supporting our team along this 50 year journey.

As much as my staff (my team) did not like it, I asked them to join me on stage so I could publically thank them and show them how much everyone in the room appreciates them.

KCSC_Staff_300wideOur staff at the Sports Commission has been through a lot the past few months, both professionally and personally.

Starting with last October we’ve hosted and produced events like the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon, the World Series Parade, collegiate championships every weekend in December,Kathy_Nelson_SJR39 another sold out WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards luncheon, youth sports clinics on Saturdays, Big 12 wrestling and basketball and all the events that come with those championships, Relay the Way on opening day, and on April 12, just days before our annual banquet, my team traveled with me to Jefferson City as we voiced our opposition to Missouri’s Senate Joint Resolution 39, encouraging our elected officials to keep Missouri in the game.  I’m sure the 2:30 a.m. return to Kansas City on Wednesday was not what the staff had anticipated.

On top of all of the events over the last few months, the team has also spent long nights and traveled many weekends working with our teammates at Visit KC on numerous bids for some exciting future opportunities.

We haven’t seen our friends and family much lately these past few months, so it was important for me to thank our staff for their long hours and dedication in making Kansas City better through sports.

We are a team, Kansas City is a team and I thank you for being part of our next 50 years.

Please enjoy our Sports Commission video as well as all the award winner videos from that evening.  We hope to see you next year when we celebrate our city of championships once again.


By Kathy Nelson, President & CEO