Palm Beach County has furthered its reputation as a prominent sports tourism destination after receiving multiple awards and recognitions in the past 12 months. These recognitions include excellence in sports programming, venues, leadership, marketing, and event activation.
At the Florida Sports Foundation’s annual Florida Sports Summit, Palm Beach County and its Sports Commission were recognized in two award categories. First, Okeeheelee Park was honored as Florida’s Venue of the Year. Okeeheelee Park was a launching pad for sports tourism over the last year, hosting multi-sports events, youth baseball showcases, fastpitch softball tournaments, soccer tournaments, tennis contests, water ski competitions, and one of the nation’s largest BMX championships.
Palm Beach County Sports Commission Executive Director, George Linley, received the Florida Sports Foundation’s Larry Pendleton Leadership Award. The Larry Pendleton Leadership Award is presented to an outstanding executive in Florida’s sports community who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills during the year.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Facility Guide, the definitive publication on sports venues in Palm Beach County, was awarded two prestigious Charlie Awards from the Florida Magazine Association (FMA). The guide won in two categories for Best Cover Design and Best New Magazine. The publication is a major tool used by the sports commission to promote and maintain Palm Beach County’s status as a premier sports tourism destination.
The Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame recognized the Baseball Americas Qualifier for the XXXII Olympiad as its Sports Event of the Year. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission hosted the Baseball Americas Qualifier for the XXXII Olympiad at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in 2021. This event represents a major partnership between the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the international governing body for baseball and softball. During this Olympic Qualifier, eight nations vied for one spot in the Summer Olympics. Bringing this event to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches created an enormous tourism impact in Palm Beach County and provided the United States National Team home-field advantage. Ultimately, the home-field advantage delivered a Baseball Americas’ Qualifier Championship for the United States, which led to a silver medal finish in the Summer Olympics. Watch the video below to see the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fracarri accept the award.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission received further recognition in the Palm Beach Post’s 50 Historic Sports Moments. The Post wrote “In 1982, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission was formed to promote and market the county as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission brings sporting events and activities to the county; each year those events are responsible for nearly 1 million visitors. The Commission also led to the creation of the Lou Groza Award in 1992. The Groza is presented annually to the best collegiate kicker in the country.”
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is proud to have received these honors and continues to work tirelessly to maintain The Palm Beaches’ status as a premier sports destination. Since pandemic-era restrictions have been lifted, the sports commission has hosted numerous sports events that have generated substantial economic impact for Palm Beach County. Watch the video below to go inside these efforts.