The state has created a new commission to strengthen efforts to attract national and regional sporting events, with hopes of increasing Maine's share of the $7 billion industry.
The Maine Sports Commission, created this month, has 13 members, including one from seven of the eight tourism regions that elected to participate in its creation, according to the Portland Press Herald. Other members include Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, representatives from the Bangor and Portland visitors bureaus, and representatives from the sports, education and tourism industries. The Downeast-Acadia region is the only part of the state not participating.
Each of the seven regions is contributing $10,000 annually to the commission, which will lobby to attract events like youth soccer tournaments and Olympic trials to Maine. The Maine Office of Tourism is contributing $70,000 a year to the commission's work. The money will pay for an independent contractor or firm to handle the majority of the lobbying work, as well as resources like a website, trade show booth and marketing materials. The commission has been in the works since 2010.