Triple Crown Sports rolling out 40th anniversary celebration
From its humble but motivated early steps as a slowpitch softball tournament provider to today’s multi-sport menu of impactful youth and college events, Triple Crown Sports has evolved into a national and international force in creating memories through competition.
Fully engaged with plans to move forward, and grateful for the partners who made it happen, Triple Crown Sports will celebrate its 40th anniversary through the 2022 event season, including retrospective content on its website and special merchandise to commemorate the journey.
Triple Crown Sports was founded in 1982 by David King, who along with his wife, Annette, had complained to a softball tourney organizer about the quality of the event. Told unceremoniously to do better if he could, the Kings plotted their vision on the trip home, finishing the work while sitting in the driveway of their home. The debut was a 32-team tourney in Meeker, CO., and two events were added next year to create the “Triple Crown” format.
Nearly 55,000 slowpitch teams would compete in TCS events over the next 27 years; before then, however, King had foreseen the promise and enthusiasm for youth sports, with TCS firing up youth fastpitch and youth baseball programming in 1992. In and around the turn to the 2000’s, Triple Crown also took command of college basketball events like the Preseason/Postseason WNIT and the Cancun Challenge.
The college connection continued with the 2017 introduction of the NIVC and NISC, NCAA D-I tournaments built on the Postseason WNIT model, along with the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, which started in 2015.
Triple Crown’s insight on the youth market blossomed over the years as well – the fastpitch Colorado 4th of July event now attracts more than 1,000 10u through 18u teams to Colorado’s Front Range and is arguably the nation’s most important college recruiting opportunity in the sport. And in baseball, the Omaha SlumpBuster is another must-attend moment for young players, with 736 teams attending in 2019 and about 650 teams in tow for 2022 for an event in full rebound mode after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Triple Crown also produces the TC Volleyball NIT, which is contested over President’s Day Weekend at the Kansas City Convention Center. The NIT has become the most challenge testing ground for the nation’s top club programs and also attracts hundreds of college coaches on the hunt for recruitable talent.
“Simply put, it’s a complete blessing to still be involved with creating events and doing what I love after 40 years in this business,” David King said. “Triple Crown Sports will continue to evolve and produce meaningful events for its customers. It is baked into the culture here, to chase after something special, to draw people together and then keep working to make the experience better over time.”
An interactive timeline on Triple Crown Sports history can be viewed on the TCS website: https://www.iplaytcs.com/40th-anniversary.html
Merchandise featuring Jacker, the official TCS mascot dating back to the late 1980’s, is also available: https://www.cosparkfire.com/40th-anniversary-merchandise.html