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INNOVATE® Washington DMV Edition

About MSC and What they do
In 2008, when the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (now Department of Commerce) partnered to create the Office of Sports Marketing – (later rebranded as the Maryland Sports Commission in 2016) – their intention was clear: Become the definitive leader in highlighting the state as a premier destination for sports, through the expansion and nurturing of competitive youth and amateur sports events, advance regional, national and international sporting events in Maryland and be the go-to resource for Maryland sporting events and Maryland’s sports tourism industry.

Uniquely, the Maryland Sports Commission is one of only two freestanding offices of its kind in the entire country; Utah is the other. This distinction has allowed MSC to focus intensely on showcasing Maryland to millions of spectators and visitors for more than 15 years. Since its founding, Maryland Sports has facilitated over $2 billion in event recruitment dollars, leading to more than $1.65 billion in direct spending impact. By leveraging and coordinating resources among partner organizations throughout the state, MSC works to unify Maryland’s sports community and strengthen its presence in the global marketplace. More than the state where the Iron Man rose to fame or a Colt vanished into the night, Maryland has evolved into a sporting mecca, well beyond its storied sports legends. The state hosts a myriad of events, venues, and conferences that stand above the rest. From regional battles to national qualifiers to international pursuits, the action can be found on Maryland soil and water. The events that Maryland Sports Commission (Maryland Sports) owns and operates or has highly influenced range from bids for the FIFA World Cup™ to the Governors Challenge Basketball Tournament on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the largest holiday basketball tournament in the country to the Maryland Sports Spelling Bee National Qualifier. The Maryland Sports Commission maintains long standing relationships with Maryland tourism industry leaders and sports entities in targeting and developing bids to bring sporting events to the state, coordinate volunteer efforts, and work tirelessly to create sponsorship and promotional opportunities for new and existing sporting events.

Terry Hasseltine Executive Director
Ashley Harper Cottrell Project Manager
Graham Whaples Project Administrator

TEAM Maryland
Supporting these efforts is TEAM Maryland, a unified statewide initiative comprising 22 destinations. This collaborative effort markets Maryland to the sports industry with the shared objective of hosting communityfocused, revenue-generating sporting events. By offering a wide range of resources, facilities, and spaces, TEAM Maryland strengthens the state’s position as an ideal sports destination, benefiting from the revenue and opportunities generated through youth and amateur sports. Together, the partners have one unified voice, creating a dynamic picture of the sports communities woven across Maryland’s counties, towns and cities.

Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland and the Youth & Amateur Sports Grant and Michael Erin Busch Fund program
To further enhance its mission, the Maryland Sports Commission introduced the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, also known as “Sport Corp”, to help move Maryland forward through sports. This nonprofit-arm streamlines event management processes, particularly for large, multi-year events. The Sport Corp enables Maryland Sports to develop more private-public partnerships and match private sector dollars with public funding to significantly grow the state’s sport tourism industry. It was established in May 2019 under the Affiliated Foundations Bill, which was first signed into law in May 2017. Governed by an 11-member board, it offers legal, accounting, and community development support, serving as an incubator for large-scale events, aiding in their early development and sustainability.


  • Maryland Cycling Classic
  • Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill
  • 2028 and 2032 AAU Junior Olympic Games

An essential part of this growth is the ‘Youth & Amateur Sports Grant and Michael Erin Busch Fund,’ which allows the Maryland Sports Commission to be more responsive, effective and efficient within the sport tourism and sports event industry for Maryland’s betterment. Named after the late House Speaker, Michael Erin Busch, the Grant honors the legacy of Busch’s dedication to and championing of youth and amateur sports, created by former State Delegate Maggie McIntosh, who included the Speaker’s name to the legislation in committee hearings in 2019. Busch, a highly recruited Blue Chip athlete in high school and collegiate football player, dedicated his life to investing in youth and amateur sports, especially in his hometown of Annapolis in Anne Arundel County.

The ‘Grant & Fund’, named after the late Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, between 2021-2023, funded more than 130 events and invested nearly $3 million to attract and retain youth and amateur events across Maryland. This led to a direct spending impact of more than $175 million.

The impact of grants positions the state of Maryland to be on a more even playing field regionally, nationally and internationally with other states aiming to bring events to their state.


  • Upper Chesapeake Baseball Festival
  • Next Collegiate League
  • USA Pickleball Mid-Atlantic Diamond Regional
  • North American Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament (NACIVT)
  • Military Bowl
  • Governors Challenge Basketball Tournament
  • Big Time Hoops DC LIVE
  • Collegiate Rugby Championship, National 7s

Major Event Fund
The Major Sports and Entertainment Event Fund (Major Event Fund) allows the Maryland Sports Commission to recruit, retain, secure & execute major, large-scale events in Maryland. Events ranging from international soccer matches to mega star music festivals and more. The Major Events Fund was enacted as part of Chapter 61 (House Bill 897) of the Maryland legislative acts of 2022 with the purpose of attracting major sporting events and major entertainment events to Maryland; attracting fans, participants, and tourists to Maryland; generating positive media coverage for Maryland; and generating a positive economic impact for Maryland.

The Major Event Fund is dedicated to working in conjunction with MSC’s other grant programs to continue moving the state forward, primarily through sports tourism.


  • Navy-Notre Dame Football Game
  • Premier League at FedEx Field
  • CIAA Tournament
  • Oceans Calling Music Festival

Sports Tourism is the economic impact that visitors have on a community from overnight stays in hotels, dining at local restaurants, gas in cars, cash on counters, and seats filled. Usually it starts with local, amateur sporting events, and then it grows regionally and nationally.

Sports tourism significantly impacts Maryland’s economy, as visitors spend on overnight stays in hotels, dining at local restaurants, and other activities. Prior to the establishment of the Maryland Sports Commission, there was no state focus on sports tourism and the youth and amateur sports market as economic drivers. Today, Maryland stands as a key player, nationally in sports tourism, recognized for its innovative approach and considered a model for effective state-level management in this field.

Beyond economic benefits, sports tourism also brings social benefits to a destination. Large-scale events in Maryland provide citizens with unique experiences and contribute to the economy by attracting outside funds. Additionally, these events often give back to the community through new opportunities, enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.

“Maryland Sports Commission is the heartbeat of sports tourism in Maryland, driving economic growth, fostering community spirit, and positioning our state as a premier destination on the global stage. Our focus is on ensuring that every event we pursue, big or small, leaves a lasting legacy for the community. We are going to have a significant impact, not just on sports, but on the state. We have not only boosted our economy but also enriched the lives of our residents and visitors alike. I can proudly say that our efforts have transformed Maryland into a premier destination for sports tourism.”

Terry Hasseltine – Executive Director, Maryland Sports Commission & President, Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland

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