Little League World Series Named Top Event by SportsTravel Magazine
The award is nominated and voted on by SportsTravel readers. According to the December issue of the magazine, “…the Readers’ Choice Awards recognize excellence in sports event management and production.” Criteria for nomination and voting included:
- superior organization of and attendance at the event
- a superior experience for the competitors and/or spectators at the event
- how the site or venue served to enhance the event.
The events covered by the awards occurred between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004, so it was the 2003 Little League Baseball World Series that was cited. The Little League Baseball World Series is played at two stadiums (Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Little League Volunteer Stadium) each year in Williamsport, Pa. The 2005 series, scheduled for Aug. 19-28, will be the 59th since the annual event was first played in 1947.
“We already know that the Williamsport area, Lamade Stadium, and Volunteer Stadium are special places to be in late August each year,” said Stephen Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “We’re delighted that Sports/Travel magazine’s readers recognizes it as well.”
The award was presented by SportsTravel Publisher Timothy Schneider and Associate Publisher Lisa Furfine this past October in Houston at the Travel, Events and Management in Sports Conference & Expo. Accepting on behalf of Little League International was Mike Witherwax, Southwestern Region Director.
“We are pleased to recognize these superior sporting events,” said Mr. Schneider. “Each of the winners is a prime example of achieving excellence in organization and management for both competitors and spectators. The SportsTravel Readers’ Choice Awards program is an opportunity for magazine readers to honor their peers for a job well done. SportsTravel readers are the leaders of the sports event industry, and they really know what it takes to execute high-quality athletic events—this award reflects their expert evaluation of what makes an event a superior one.”
Other winners of 2004 SportsTravel Readers’ Choice Awards were:
- Sports Event of the Year: Super Bowl XXVIII, Houston, Texas
- Best professional sports event series or circuit: 2003 Tour de
- Best professional multi-sport or multi-discipline event: 2003 ESPN
Summer X Games, Los Angeles, California
- Best professional single-sport event: Super Bowl XXXVIII, Houston,
- Best collegiate sports event series or circuit: 2004 NCAA Men’s
Basketball Final Four, San Antonio, Texas
- Best collegiate multi-sport or multi-discipline event: 2004 NCAA
Division II Sports Festival, Orlando, Florida
- Best collegiate single-sport event: 2004 Rose Bowl, Pasadena,
- Best amateur multi-sport or multi-discipline event: 2004 USA
Gymnastics Olympic Trials, Anaheim, California
- Best amateur single-sport event: 2003 Snickers USYS National Championships, Germantown, Maryland
It was not the first time the Little League Baseball World Series has
been cited by a national magazine. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named
Lamade Stadium the No. 16 venue in the world for watching a sporting
event among its list of top 20 venues. Lamade Stadium ranked ahead of
Daytona International Speedway (home of the Daytona 500 stock car
race, No. 17), Notre Dame Stadium (home of college football’s Fighting
Irish, 18), St. Andrews (site of golf’s British Open, 19) and the Rose
Bowl (site of the annual college football bowl game by the same name,
No. 1 through 15 on Sports Illustrated’s list were: Yankee Stadium (home of the New York Yankees), Augusta National (site of golf’s Master’s Tournament), Michie Stadium (home of West Point’s Black Knights), Cameroon Indoor Stadium (Duke University’s basketball arena), Bislett Stadium (Oslo, Norway’s track arena), Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs), Roland Garros Stadium (site of tennis’ French Open), Lambeau Field (home of the Green Bay Packers), Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox), Saratoga Race Course (a thoroughbred horse track in New York), Pebble Beach (golf course), Wembley Stadium (soccer stadium in London), The Pit (New Mexico’s basketball arena in Albuquerque), the Boston Marathon Course (site of the footrace of the same name) and Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles).