Baltimore’s blend of traditional events and new faces has Charm City feeling, well, charmed. We talked to Amy Calvert, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Visit Baltimore, about the latest news there.
Going Out in StyleThe Baltimore Running Festival, which culminated in a marathon Oct. 15, set records with 24,000 participants and 45,000 spectators at the finish line. The CVB says 35 percent of attendees were from out of state. M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, hosted the annual Army-Navy game in December. Calvert called it a “point of pride” to share the game with Baltimore. Negotiations are underway to host the game again in the city.
A Look at 2017
USA Dance National DanceSport Championships will take place at Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel March 31-April 2.
All Star Challenge will bring its Clash of the Titans cheer championships to Baltimore Convention Center a week later, April 8-9.
USA Fencing’s 2017 Division I and Wheelchair National Championships and April North American Cup will be held April 21-24 in the convention center.
Next year’s returning favorites include LaxCon, US Lacrosse’s annual convention and fan festival, Jan. 20-22 at the convention center, and the 142nd Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s triple crown, at Pimlico Race Course on May 20.
Hello to New Faces
Christina Ghani took over as national sales and sports manager at Visit Baltimore in July. Previously, she was business development manager at Hilton Baltimore. Al Hutchinson is the CVB's new president and CEO, leaving Visit Mobile (Alabama) to replace Tom Noonan, who departed for Austin, Texas. Hutchinson says he will keep cheering for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but Calvert isn’t so sure. “It’s hard not to cheer for Baltimore sports teams because there is so much enthusiasm,” she says.
Back to the Future
Calvert says the CVB enjoys a great working relationship with Maryland Stadium Authority, headed by Terry Hasseltine. But don’t be surprised if the city launches its own sports commission to help push for a new arena. Royal Farms Arena is among the oldest in its competitive set, says Calvert, and a new venue could attract bigger events. “It would all have to be done in the right order,” says Calvert.