This year is the 20th anniversary of the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission…sort of. It is the anniversary that we recognize as to when we became free-standing, and to stay consistent with when the 15th anniversary was celebrated.
You see, the Sports Commission was actually created during a joint meeting of the Jacksonville City Council and the Onslow County Commissioners in July of 1999 but then became free-standing in July of 2001 when the first board of directors, other than the elected officials of the City and County, took office. The board established directives and criteria for the hiring of an executive director, and launched the mission of the Sports Commission into action within Jacksonville and Onslow County.
The continued financial support from the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority, Onslow County, and individuals and businesses allow us to do what we do and we thank you for that. Many community leaders have served on the board of the Sports Commission over the years. Some for many, many years after filling their full terms and later being reelected again. Others served for a short time and some are new as current board members. They have all served well with our community’s best interest at heart.
I am the sixth to serve as the executive director of the organization. Many great employees have worked here but never larger than a total staff of three.Thousands of sports-related events have taken place over these 20 years and though I don’t have exact records going back to those very early years, it is safe to say that the estimated economic impact for our community from those events well exceeds $70 million and over 100,000 room nights were used.
The first 20 years have been great but here’s to the next two decades!
Happy New Year!
Scott Smith, Executive Director