A message from Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan
Another year in the Columbus sports community has come and gone, and it’s safe to say we’ll remember this one more vividly than normal.
Like most of the world, I’m ready to leave 2020 in the past! But I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the triumphs, positivity and dedication that Columbus has shown this year. Each year I grow prouder to be a member of the Columbus community. In a very difficult time, we came together to show that Columbus truly knows how to Live Forward.
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission welcomed ESPN star reporter Maria Taylor in February for the 10th anniversary of The Women’s Sports Report, presented by OhioHealth and we hosted a loyal client, USA Fencing, as they returned to Columbus for the Junior Olympic Championships.
Our eyes were set on another March full of basketball, with the NCAA DIII Women’s Basketball Championship returning to Capital University and the Ohio High School Basketball Association (OHSAA) Boys and Girls Basketball State Tournaments drawing top athletes from across the state.
Needless to say, our plans were halted.
As we navigated shutdowns and canceled sports seasons, our team knew it had to pivot. Just weeks after transitioning to a work-from-home model, we kicked off the Virtual Sports Report to give the community a dose of the sports it was missing. This weekly series gathered us via Zoom to connect with local sports organizations like the Columbus Clippers, OHSAA, Columbus Marathon, M3S Sports and more to understand their changing approach during COVID-19. We learned so much from the series and look forward to continuing it on Jan. 7, 2021.
In July, the national spotlight shined on Columbus as we welcomed The Basketball Tournament (TBT), creating the year’s first basketball bubble in our city. Our team worked with TBT and City Officials to execute a robust health and safety plan and make sure TBT staff, athletes and personnel felt welcomed with open arms, even while physically distanced, during the successful 10-day tournament.
By late summer, we pivoted once again with the gradual return to sports. The Sports Commission crowned new champions during a hybrid version of The Community Cup, presented by The Columbus Foundation. And we celebrated alongside our partners and local sports fans as we learned that Columbus had been awarded eight NCAA championship events in 2022-2026.
By fall, we had plenty more to celebrate. We watched excitedly from home as the Columbus Blue Jackets mounted another exceptional run in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Toronto bubble. The Columbus Crew SC gave us our first look at just how dominant they would become as they traveled south to the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
The city shined once again this month as the MLS Cup returned to MAPFRE Stadium, and our community felt the unmatched glory of celebrating a Crew SC championship at home just a few short years after rallying to save the team. We couldn’t be happier to end the year on such a high note, with the historic moment accompanying the team’s move to a state-of-the-art downtown stadium next summer.
As we look toward 2021, there’s plenty to be excited about. The new year will provide a fresh start and a renewed sense of hope. Our team will be remembering the community pride we gained in 2020 as we continue our story of resilience and positivity next year.
Stay safe and thank you, Columbus!