The Durham Sports Commission (DSC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create economic and social impact by leading the community’s efforts to attract, support and promote youth, amateur, collegiate, and professional sporting and recreational events. The DSC seeks to maximize the potential of Durham’s sports facilities and venues, as well as provide leadership and guidance to the public and private sector on developing athletic facilities and programs to positively benefit the quality of life of the citizens of Durham.
A Note From the Chairman of the Board
It was certainly a year for the record books.
Immediately coming off hosting the 2019 USA Track & Field National Youth Outdoor Championship —the Durham Sports Commission’s first national championship in our then three-year history — no one could have forecasted the rollercoaster that was this past fiscal year. Most notably, as we all know, the emergence of COVID-19 put the world on pause, including all sports-related activities.
In true Durham fashion, I am proud that the DSC was one of the organizations that pivoted quickly and found success despite the circumstances. Staying true to our mission of creating social impact through sports, we celebrated local high school senior athletes who had their seasons cut unexpectedly short through a “Champion the Class of 2020” campaign. It was well-received, filling a gap by honoring young people for their sporting achievements while generating awareness of the DSC and our charge to support the community. The DSC also doubled down on its support of eSports through Bull City Gaming, sponsoring weekly Fortnite tournaments with hundreds competing or tuning in to watch.
The DSC has also been active in assisting the Durham Recovery & Renewal Task Force as elected officials and others in the community assess how to safely reopen Durham and its economy. It has been a great opportunity to stay in communication with our partners while convening and leading sports-specific roundtable conversations with stakeholders. To those of you that have participated, I thank you for your involvement as we work together and assess how Durham can rebound better than ever.
While the sports world hibernates, our board has also used this time for “visioning” a major sports facility for Durham: a multi-sport venue to serve the community and the sports travel market. This fall we’re assessing potential sites and conducting a feasibility study with the assistance of national experts. As the economy rebounds, we will be poised to start a community conversation about the needs this opportunity can serve.
This coming fiscal year will likely be an exciting one for the DSC as we have hired Marcus Manning as our new executive director and look forward to finding new ways to be even more resourceful for sports event planners and the community once the curve is flattened and competition is safe to return. Please also join me in congratulating Dan Hill for assuming the board chair position from me at the start of the new fiscal year.
I encourage you to keep up to date with various announcements and happenings by following the DSC on social media (@DurhamNCSports) and by exploring the beautiful new website that was unveiled earlier this year. We welcome your feedback about the state of sports in Durham currently as well as on the work of the DSC. Together, we’ll continue our work to make Durham a premier sports destination with a thriving local sports culture.
Durham Sports Commission Board Chair, 2019-20
Board of Directors
Our board of directors is comprised of admired leaders in the Durham community dedicated to the future of sports in our region. Members provide guidance in achieving the DSC’s mission to increase participation within the Durham community for local sporting events, and work with new event owners to bring their competition to the City of Champions.
Dan Hill – Chair Retired Insurance Broker, Former President of the Carolinas Golf Association, Former Partner of the Orange County Speedway
Susan Scott Vice-Chair Senior Director of Advancement & Marketing UNC-TV
Mitch Moser Secretary/Treasurer Deputy Director of Athletics/ Resource Development and Management/CFO Duke University
Omar Beasley Self Employed
Terrence Holt President Holt Brothers, Inc.
George Habel VP/Special Projects Capitol Broadcasting Co.
Tommy Hunt Retired Former ACC Referee and Supervisor of ACC Football Officials
Bill Kalkhof Retired, former CEO of Downtown Durham Inc. (1993-2013)
Jonathon Leach Executive Director of Administration NCCU
Year in Review
Our New Online Home
Before the end of the fiscal year, the DSC unveiled its year-long website redesign project that resulted in a robust resource for everyone: event planners who’ll be interested in bringing their sporting events to Durham; those curious about our sports culture; and locals eager to find the next event to enjoy with family and friends.
The website brings a new collaborative calendar of events that includes every Durham sporting event, tournament, and race, from the professional ranks to Little League. Event organizers can now submit events for addition to the calendar, something the previous website did not allow. A new form allows event owners to submit grant applications more easily. There is also an interactive facilities map that is more tailored to showcase sports tourism venues in Durham. Many thanks to each venue for working with the DSC to collect images and details to ensure accurate representation. And, finally, a blog. The DSC is now able to share poignant and timely stories with the Durham community that will highlight everything from nationally recognized college rivalries to the historical figures that put our sports community on the map.
The following charts reflect the income and expenses of the DSC from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. With no events to create, host, or support in the last quarter of the year, the DSC has retained funds in anticipation of fueling future activity. Actual FY20 expenses were therefore more concentrated in operational areas than what was originally planned.