SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The sports division of Visit Salt Lake was awarded the “Best Host City” for 2022 this week at the world’s largest conference for sports travel planners.

SportsTravel Awards deemed Sports Salt Lake the best host city after it hosted 60 sporting events with a collective direct spend of over $119 million in 2022 and hosted the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend, according to Visit Salt Lake.

Sports Salt Lake said it has seen “a dramatic increase in community and professional sporting events coming to Salt Lake,” according to the press release.

“This is a huge honor and affirmation that our Sports Salt Lake team is making a meaningful impact on our visitor economy,” President of Visit Salt Lake Kaitlin Eskelson said. “Events like these spread out the economic benefit to all of Salt Lake County.”

Sports Salt Lake Managing Director Clay Partain said they are receiving praise for the welcoming community, the high caliber of venues, the wide range of services they offer, and their “all-star volunteer group.”

The awards are given based on the public’s opinion. The conference, TEAMS Conference & Expo, which started in 1998 according to its website, is hosted by SportsTravel magazine. The readers of the magazine nominate and vote for the awards. This year they voted on events and venues that took place from August 2022 to the end of July 2023.

This means Salt Lake City was likely crowned the ‘Best Host City’ by those who attended events in Utah. Partain said the award validates “that we’re doing things right.”