Games win SportsTravel best-event award

CELEBRATION, Fla. — SportsTravel magazine has announced that the 2004 ESPN Great Outdoor Games held in Madison, Wis., won the Best Professional Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event award.

Events are nominated and voted on by readers of SportsTravel, the sports world's event magazine. Criteria for nomination and voting include superior organization of and attendance at the event, a superior experience for the competitors and/or spectators at the event, and how the site or venue served to enhance the event. Winners were announced at the TEAMS 2005 Conference & Expo, Nov. 2-5, 2005, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"We are honored to be recognized by SportsTravel Magazine," said Christine Godleski, vice president and general manager, ESPN Outdoors. "Our 2004 edition of the Games drew thousands of fans to Madison and even more tuned in to watch the telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports."

The TEAMS 2005 Conference and Expo, sponsored by Best Western International, is the world's largest annual gathering for the sports event and sports-related travel industry.

"We are pleased to recognize these superior sporting events. Each of the winners is a prime example of achieving excellence in organization and management for both competitors and spectators," said Timothy Schneider, publisher of SportsTravel, which organizes the TEAMS Conference and Expo. "SportsTravel readers are the leaders of the sports event industry and they really know what it takes to execute high-quality athletic events — these awards reflect their expert evaluation of what makes events superior."

The ballot included nominees at the amateur, collegiate and professional levels in three categories each. The 2005 Great Outdoor Games took place in July at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Great Outdoor Games are the ultimate championship of outdoors sports and featured more than 180 athletes from around the world. Participants were matched in one-of-a-kind, head-to-head competition in timber and target events, sporting dog events and ATV skills competitions.