Who We Are
The Springfield Sports Commission is a mission-driven organization, working to contribute to the economic development of Springfield by bringing quality sporting events to the Springfield area.
We’re on a Mission
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and stimulate positive economic growth for our community by promoting and developing the Springfield area as a sports venue for quality amateur, collegiate and professional sporting events.
Our Game Plan
The Springfield Sports Commission actively solicits new sporting events for the city. It is a clearinghouse for the scheduling of sporting events in the area. The Springfield Sports Commission assists organizations in the development of new and existing events, and can organize volunteer forces to assure that all events make a positive impression on participants.
The Springfield Sports Commission brings together individuals and organizations and combines the knowledge of local sports entities and sports-minded businesses who are enthusiastic about the future of youth, high school, college and professional sports in the Springfield area.
Lance Kettering was named the Executive Director of the Springfield Sports Commission and Sports Sales Manager for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau in March 2010.
Kettering and the Sports Commission team position Springfield as a quality destination for sports events by soliciting new and repeat events for the city. Kettering is responsible for the management, marketing, and operation of the Sports Commission as well as advocating for the improvement of athletics facilities in the Greater Springfield area that serves as tourism drivers for the community.
Since 2010, Kettering and the team have signed the National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships to multi-year commitments, keeping the event in Springfield through at least 2025. This event alone generates 4.2 million in economic spending and generates 8,000 room nights annually for the community The Sports Commission team has also been instrumental in attracting numerous Missouri State High School Activities Association State Championships to Springfield, including the State Basketball Championships, which had been in Columbia for 40 of the previous 43 years. The event is slated to be in Springfield through 2023 In 2022, Springfield hosted 13 different State Championships.
Other highlights for Kettering include serving as host of NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Super Regional, USA BMX Gold Cups and USA BMX National series events, the NAIA Softball World Series, and bringing numerous other rights holders to Springfield for events. Kettering and staff also formed the Springfield Sports Commission Awards which recognizes and honors the outstanding athletics achievements of area high school athletes. This event brings 1,000 people together in a night to celebrate sports in the region.
Prior to his appointment at the Sports Commission, Kettering most recently served as Director of Corporate Relations and Marketing for Missouri State Athletics from 2007-2010 and Assistant Director of Athletics Development from 1999-2007. Kettering also served as a Logistics Coordinator at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Kettering has his Sports Tourism Strategist designation from SportsETA and currently serves on the Lake Country Soccer Board of Directors, was a past Board member of the Springfield Youth Hockey Association and the Missouri Amateur Ice Hockey Association, and is active with the Midwest Mavericks Baseball club in Springfield. Kettering is a member of the Show-Me Missouri Sports Group and serves on the Sports Legacy committee for SportsETA.
Katie Johnson was named the Assistant Director of the Springfield Sports Commission in November 2016. Johnson is enthusiastic about working for an organization that can be a strong economic driver for the community, while at the same time bringing multiple athletic events to town for residential and guest enjoyment.
At the Sports Commission, Johnson's concentration is to work on membership sales and retention, event implementation and marketing. Working to enhance the visibility of the Springfield Sports Commission and assisting the Executive Director with event development are also primary goals. Johnson also coordinates the annual Sports Commission Awards. The Sports Commission Awards, held annually in June is conducted in partnership with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. The awards celebrate and honor our local high school athletes in southwest Missouri.
Johnson is a Springfield native, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in History from Missouri State University. After graduating, Johnson joined AmeriCorps Vista and worked with the Missouri River Communities Network and, more specifically, with the Hermann, Missouri tourism department. After returning from her year of service, Johnson eventually secured a position as the sales assistant for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau where she worked for 5 years.
Johnson and her husband, Tim have two terrific kids who always keep them on their toes!
Meet Our Board
The Sports Commission Board of Directors is made up of sports-minded individuals and stakeholders in the community who work tirelessly to help us achieve our goals.
Sports Commission Awards
Managed by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and sponsored by Elliott Lodging, LLC., the Sports Commission Awards in one of our premier events of the year. The Awards give our organization the opportunity to honor the best local high school athletes in the Southwest Missouri area.
Questions? Comments? Interested in partnering with the Sports Commission? Let us know!