What is in store for the future sports commission in Rapid City?

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Visit Rapid City is moving forward with plans to create a youth sports commission as they look for someone to lead the upcoming program. President and CEO Brook Kaufman explains what is next and how it affects pre-existing sports complexes.

Where does the program currently stand?

Since being named president and CEO of the city’s tourism organization, one of Kaufman’s top priorities has been to create a sports commission in the area, bringing year-round sports-based business focused around youth and amateur sports. As the program currently stands, she and Visit Rapid City are in the process of looking to hire the commission’s executive director. Applications are currently being accepted through October 21, and the goal through the remainder of the year is to have finalized the decision and hiring of the position.

What is next?

Visit Rapid City2Once the executive director is hired, they and Visit Rapid City will take a look at some of the major points made clear from a previous visit by the Arizona-based Huddle Up Group sports consultants. According to Kaufman, two of the biggest points involved making sure the structure of the commission is set up properly, followed by establishing a master plan. This plan would look at pre-existing sports complexes and how to invest in them to make sure they are functioning and providing at the best rate possible.

“How do we prioritize what those investments are to drive the highest return?,” she explains. “So if it is an existing facility’s initially, while we’re figuring out how to really raise money to do something else, right then — that’s where we’re going to absolutely put our time and energy because we want to drive the highest return. So that master plan right out of the gate is going to be critical so that we’re not having all these projects compete with each other.”

Who will make up the sports commission?

Following the executive director, Kaufman explains the need to bring in several levels of help from what she refers to as the Board of Champions, the addition of an advisory committee, all the way down to long-term volunteers. “We are going to need boots on the ground and people with backpacks on to help execute some of these events,” she explains.

How will this sports commission be funded?

This is something that is still in the works with the program being only in its earliest stages. Most importantly for the commission, Kaufman’s goal is to make sure it is not constantly fighting for funding. “We need the commission to be in a stable place so that it can continue to solve problems and drive those tournaments,” she adds. Visit Rapid City has stated before that they will be contributing the money to get the program going, she explains, but will also look to legislative sources and grants for long-term funding.

More information on the executive director position and information on applying for the position can be found here.

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