The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, which depends on the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations for operating support.

The Sports Commission has had remarkable success. In fact, more than 85% of the events in which it has bid have been awarded to Cleveland and Sports Commission events have created $395 million of economic activity in Greater Cleveland. Yet we are held back and can do so much more.

While the Sports Commission has doubled its operating budget since its inception, its large workload keeps this budget at break-even. Therefore, the risk-taking business model that has led to its success also limits further growth. The Sports Commission cannot afford to lose even modest amounts of money on events in which it partners or creates because of the devastating effect on its operating budget. In fact, there are many times that the organization simply declines to bid on an event that would likely choose Cleveland because it cannot afford the risk. These are large missed opportunities for our community.

With that in mind, the Sports Commission created the Event Development Fund, which allows the Sports Commission to fully exploit its business model and greatly enhance its community impact.

The Event Development Fund is a restricted fund utilized for the attraction and creation of events, without impairing the Sports Commission’s annual operating budget. Specifically, the fund is used for:

  • Bid fees associated with the attraction of some events.
  • A backstop against a loss on the operations of some events.
  • Seed funding for the creation of new annual events.

Importantly, this fund is replenished by the profits realized on many Sports Commission bid events and annual events as they mature and grow. This allows for the fund to be perpetual. The creation of the Event Development Fund has propels Cleveland into the dominant position nationally in amateur sports and events.

For more information on The Event Development Fund, contact Jeff Pacini at