SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A person pivotal to bringing major sporting events to Northwest Louisiana is out at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.
The bureau announced Thursday that Kelly Wells’ position as Executive Director of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission has been eliminated.
According to a statement released Thursday afternoon by SBCTB President Stacey Brown, the elimination of Wells’ position was the recommendation of an outside firm hired to conduct an assessment of the organization’s structure.
“One of the key findings of this review revealed that it would be beneficial for the sports commission to utilize the expertise and resources of the entire bureau staff not just the personnel specifically assigned to sports.”
Brown said the realignment mirrors similar successful models of other tourist bureaus and sports commissions across the country.
“They really kind of looked at our structure,” Brown told KTAL/KMSS. “They looked at how we were spending our resources. What results we were having, looking at us compared to other convention and tourist bureaus and sports commissions and made some recommendations as far as how do we utilize that more effectively.”
The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is the parent company of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, which works together to promote tourism and sports in the Shreveport-Bossier area.
“Kelly Wells has played a major role in growing sports in Shreveport-Bossier, such as bringing Olympic qualifier events, state championships, and recreational sporting events to our market. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well in his new endeavors,” the SBCTB statement said.
Among the major events that came to the area during Wells’ tenure were the 2018 Miss USA Pageant and Team USA’s FIVB Volleyball Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament in August 2019, breaking almost $2 million in economic impact to the area. The U.S. Women’s volleyball team clinched a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and went on to take gold.
Shreveport has also hosted the USA Boxing National Championships for the past two years, after Hurricane Laura left Lake Charles unable to host.
This year, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission is joining the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the City of Bossier City, to host an annual pro-am archery tour to Camp Minden, starting in April 2022.
“I have enjoyed my time with the Sports Commission, setting it up with the tourist bureau,” Wells said when contacted Thursday. “Two cities and two parishes and I treasure the last 12 years of seeing it grow year over year and feel there is no better destination to promote our two cities and two parishes. I want to thank all the partners that make SB the Sportsman’s Paradise and the pride of Louisiana. I appreciate all the events we were able to team up and bring to our area, and the countless businesses, government entities, volunteers and tournament directors that gave us the opportunity to team up and make these events happen year after year.”
The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and its Advisory Board says it will continue to operate the same as it has been, as sporting event development remains a priority for the SBCTB and SBSC.