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Media Contact:
Brenna Moore/Visit Albuquerque
Office: (505) 222-4349



Albuquerque Sports Commission and USA Cycling Receive Event Partnership of the Year Award from Sports ETA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – (May 17, 2024) – The Albuquerque Sports Commission – a division of Visit Albuquerque – and USA Cycling were honored by Sports ETA with the Event Partnership of the Year award, in the category for cities with a population above 500,000. They were one of 10 awardees honored among 800 Sports ETA member organizations.

“Congratulations to the teams at Albuquerque Sports Commission and USA Cycling for being recognized for the Event Partnership of the Year,” said John David, President & CEO of Sports ETA. “The award honors organizations who are leading our sports events tourism industry in collaborative and creative ways with community impact.”

The award was accepted by Angela Gandy, Senior Sports Development Manager for the Albuquerque Sports Commission, at the annual Sports ETA Symposium held April 23 in Portland, Oregon. The award recognized the partnership between the Albuquerque Sports Commission and USA Cycling for their innovative collaboration with a variety of entities to hold the 2023 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships Criterium event in conjunction with Albuquerque’s Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival. As the championship’s culminating event, the Criterium was open to spectators and featured live national championship racing and awards ceremonies alongside a celebration of Celtic culture and traditions that featured live music, food vendors and heavy athletics competitions.

“This unique partnership allowed us to align a national sporting event with a signature Albuquerque festival, which helped broaden the audience of interested spectators and shined a light on the caliber of sporting organizations that have selected Albuquerque as a host destination,” said Gandy. “It would not have been possible without the support and assistance from our tremendous partners, including the City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation department, the Bernalillo County Parks, Recreation & Open Space department, the University of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue. It was a highly successful partnership of which our industry and community is very proud, and this prestigious award underscores the power of those collaborations.”

“This strong partnership brought together kilts and kits,” said City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Director Dave Simon. “Albuquerque’s sports tourism scene is going to continue to grow as we work together, scoring big wins for the community.”

The award judges commented: The collaboration between the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships and the Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival was a perfect example of the power of partnership in creating outcomes that benefit both entities. This partnership shined, benefiting all organizations through shared venue and resource organization as well as enhanced safety measures. The events provided attendees with a diverse and rich experience, impacted the local economy with over 1,600 hotel room nights and an estimated direct spend of $612,000 and resulted in community engagement and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Both events also benefitted the host community through a food drive with essential donations of over 3,000 items.

“The Albuquerque Sports Commission is honored to receive Sports ETA’s Event Partnership of the Year award, which serves as a testament to our commitment to excellence and collaboration in elevating sporting events in our community,” said Angie Jepsen, Director of Sales, Services & Sports for Visit Albuquerque. “Albuquerque has emerged as a premier destination for sporting events. Sports tourism positively impacts our economy, strengthens our community and creates a vibrant atmosphere where residents and visitors alike revel in the joy of competition. Beyond competition, it helps to cultivate a culture of health, camaraderie and well-being, enriching the quality of life for all who call Albuquerque home. This recognition fuels our dedication to fostering unforgettable experiences and furthering the impact of sports tourism in Albuquerque.”

About Visit Albuquerque

Visit Albuquerque is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO), and a private, not-for-profit organization [501(c)(6)]. The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a convention, sports and visitor destination. For more information, go to

About Sports ETA

As the only trade association for the sports events and tourism industry, Sports ETA is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), and sports event owners. Sports ETA is committed to the success of more than 800 member organizations and 2,400 sports event professionals. We promise to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities, and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members to protect the integrity of the sports events and tourism industry. For more information,