Cleveland’s Own: Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

In this month’s edition of Fox 8’s Cleveland’s Own, Matt Kaulig sits down with David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Since 2000, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) is responsible for attracting over 200 sporting events which provide over $843 million in economic activity to Northeast Ohio.

GCSC serves to measurably improve the economy of Greater Cleveland and enrich the community by attracting, creating, managing, and enhancing significant sporting and competitive events. It supports the local economy, utilizes sports as a vehicle to forward community agendas, and maintains a goal of producing events that are more successful when held in Cleveland than in other cities.

GCSC played a critical role in ensuring the 2021 NFL Draft was hosted by Cleveland.

Learn more about how the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission helps boost Northeast Ohio’s economy.

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own is about good people doing good work in Northeast Ohio. WJW Fox 8 and Kaulig Charitable Giving Programs team up to celebrate Cleveland’s Own by highlighting the best of our region in a big way! Each month, Fox 8’s Stefani Schaefer and Kaulig Companies and LeafFilter Executive Chairman Matt Kaulig, share a story about a person or organization from Northeast Ohio doing good work.

To see more Cleveland’s Own stories, or to nominate an organization to be featured, visit Kaulig Giving’s Cleveland’s Own page.

Read the Transcript

Narrator

Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations, and charities making a difference in noNortheastrtheast Ohio. It's time to celebrate Cleveland's own.

Matt Kaulig

Hi, I'm Matt Kaulig. This month on Cleveland's own, we highlight the powerful force working behind the scenes to bring sporting events to the city of Cleveland. Let's get to know David Gilbert and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Matt Kaulig

Well, it's good to be with you, David. Thanks for being here. So tell me a little bit about the organization and what happens behind the scenes to get these events here to Cleveland.

David Gilbert

There are cities all over the country that compete for the rights to host these major events. Organizations that own these events become events rights holders. They will look for cities to host. We compete every day for the rights to host these events, and then where our organization gets very active and engaged is the running and managing of those events. Our goal is that when they're here, that Cleveland and northeast Ohio are a better host than any other place in the country.

Matt Kaulig

What's the process? All right. So you obviously want to get the NFL draft. It could be anywhere in the United States of America and any of the cities. How did you guys get it here in Cleveland?

David Gilbert

With the NFL draft, it was a long process. The first time we bid, twenty-two cities were going after three different years. Again, it was probably about a two, two-and-a-half-year period. At the end of the day, I think they felt that this community, that this city, and in many ways, the organization would help make their event great while it was here, and that's what our goal is.

Matt Kaulig

And that's what we showcase. I would imagine that's a giant goal that you guys have, is just to make Cleveland look as great as we know the city is.

David Gilbert

You know, great on TV, and when we have these tens of thousands of people each year that come here, they're ambassadors that go back, and they talk about Cleveland to their networks. So the more we can make them feel welcome, the more we can help them have a great experience long term, the better off it is for our community. Since we started 21 years ago, we've had now about 220 events that have committed to Cleveland and northeast Ohio. Those combined have about $850 million in direct spending in our community. A lot of jobs are supported by that.

Matt Kaulig

And that's direct spending, you know, hotels, restaurants, bars...

David Gilbert

That's not fluff multipliers and crazy numbers.

Matt Kaulig

That's money- green money coming in. It's huge. It's huge for the economy. Right. So I know there's a giant impact here in the community with kids. So tell me a little bit about that and how you guys do impact kids.

David Gilbert

We've gotten very engaged in youth programing around the events that we host. And what we do is we work largely with City of Cleveland rec centers, but boys and girls clubs, other organizations as well. We hosted the U.S. Triathlon National Championship, and we ran a program for a year where we had a number of underprivileged kids chosen by the city of Cleveland rec centers. They were fully outfitted with everything they would need. They got triathlon training during the year from some local coaches, and then they actually did a mini-triathlon on the national championship course with their families watching. And it was incredible. And that's the kind of thing we like to do to really spread the impact of these events into the community. It has become more and more events choosing Cleveland because of that aspect of what we do.

Matt Kaulig

So, David, how can Fox 8 viewers get more involved?

David Gilbert

If people go to our website, which is clevelandsports.org, they can see every event that's coming to Cleveland. And from there, they certainly can donate. They can volunteer. Almost every event that we have utilizes it could be 10 volunteers, could be 2000, and they're critical. So lots of ways for people to get involved.

Matt Kaulig

To learn more about the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, visit clevelandsports.org and to nominate a person or organization to be featured on an upcoming episode of Cleveland's own visit kauliggiving.com/clevelandsown. Make it a Great Day.