Hampton Roads Chamber to Assume Work of Hampton Roads Sports Commission


Hampton Roads Chamber to Assume Work of Hampton Roads Sports Commission
Added on April 27, 2022 to Press Releases

Hampton Roads Chamber to Assume Work of Hampton Roads Sports Commission

The Hampton Roads Sports Commission is no more, but the work of the body, to bring sporting events and promote local youth and adult sports participation, will continue uninterrupted within the Hampton Roads Chamber. The Commission’s Executive Director, Claudell Clark, will become the Chamber’s Vice President for Regional Sports. “This will be more conducive for me and the community,” says Clark, a former baseball coach at Norfolk State University. “Instead of relying so heavily on municipal funding, which fluctuates year to year, we can now focus our attention on integrating sports more fully into our economy and the daily lives of residents. It’s an exciting development for everyone.”

The board of the Commission, which began in 1999, voted unanimously on April 12 to dissolve the authority. “It was not a hard decision because it made financial and organizational sense,” says James White, its outgoing chairman. “The good thing is that all of our board members will continue as trustees with the full support of the Chamber and its regional and local boards.”

“Claudell has been working at our Chamber’s regional office in downtown Norfolk, and we have managed the finances for the Commission, so this is not a major change for him,” says Bryan Stephens, Chamber President and CEO. “But it will be a net positive for the Chamber and the Commission’s mission because we recognize how critical sporting events are to tourism and the overall brand of our area. Claudell will promote Hampton Roads as a destination for athletic competitions and be a liaison between the business community and municipalities.” 

Stephens says Clark, under the Chamber’s wing, will have “an enhanced ability to plan, organize and implement local sports activities.” Clark is ready for the transition. “Sports has such potential for Hampton Roads, and our cities recognize it,” he says. “Between Virginia Beach’s excellent Sports Center as well as soccer fields, baseball diamonds, swimming pools and other infrastructure, we have what tournament organizers, particularly for youth sports, want. We will collaborate with the localities to bring more visitors here because let’s face it, southeastern Virginia is a terrific destination with ample hotel rooms and a wide range of affordable restaurants.”

I believe this new arrangement will produce even greater results,” says James White, District Manager for Safelite Auto Glass and now chair of the trustees advising the Chamber on sports. “Words cannot truly express how excited I am to see the commitment of the Hampton Roads Chamber and the former Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission, to Sports in our Region. For 100% of the Board to transition to Trustees, shows how driven and confident we are of the future of sports in Hampton Roads. Sports is a part of our fabric and we will continue to not only build on the amazing programs we have but also bring more new and exciting events to the region. Our future is very bright.”