Detroit — Already in the bidding for the NFL Draft, the NBA All-Star Game and the NHL All-Star Game, sport and business interest groups in the city now have their eyes on the Super Bowl.
They also may explore the NCAA men’s and women’s Final Four, the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the College Football Playoff national championship game and the World Junior Hockey Championship, among other events.
To help get it done, the Detroit Sports Commission has formed the Detroit Sports Organizing Corp., a permanent local organizing committee to identify, bid, plan and produce major sporting events.
The commission, a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, introduced the committee at a meeting of the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field on Wednesday.
The committee will evaluate and prioritize future bid opportunities and form host committees in the hopes of attracting major annual and one-time events.
“The formation of this high caliber group is an unprecedented move for our region as we set the course to compete for the most important and highly visible events in the nation and world,” said Dave Beachnau, a vice president of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our goal is to make sure future bid and event opportunities operate efficiently through a strategic and thoughtful approach with the right organizations and individuals involved from start to finish.”
The committee is composed of leaders of the major professional franchises, the sports commission and convention and visitors bureau, the business community, academia, labor and others.
“In addition to the financial impact and image enhancement these events create, they also provide a great sense of community pride and quality of life for our residents,” Beachnau said. “With the recent addition of Little Caesars Arena to our lineup of first-class venues, Ford Field’s $100-million renovation and the Detroit Pistons move to downtown Detroit; the region is poised to draw the next generation of world-class events.”
Detroit is one of 32 cities to pass through the first stage of the bid process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
In April, the NCAA awarded seven future championship events to the Detroit area, including the 2020 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four, 2021 Division I men’s basketball first and second rounds and the 2022 Division I Men’s Wrestling Championships.
Scheduled for 2018 are the first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships and the World Youth Bowling Championships.
The city annually hosts the Great Lakes Invitational; Horizon League’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments; Detroit Grand Prix
; Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic; Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon; Mid-American Conference (MAC) Football Championship; and the Quick Lane Bowl.