Ray Palmer, Pensacola Sports Association Wins State Award

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2015 Florida Sports Leadership Award

Ray Palmer and the Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) are committed to enhancing the Pensacola sports scene, promoting health, fitness and sportsmanship and growing sports tourism in the Pensacola area.  Their efforts were recognized last week by the Florida Sports Foundation as they were awarded the 2015 Florida Sports Leadership Award.

Florida Sports Foundation President John Webb made a special trip to Pensacola to attend the PSA’s monthly board meeting, during which he made a brief announcement and informed the board and Ray Palmer, PSA Executive Director, of the recognition.  The Florida Sports Foundation, a Division of Enterprise Florida, supports 27 sports commissions in the state, awards this recognition once a year to a director and commission based on its ongoing success in the sports tourism industry.

Ray Palmer

Pensacola Sports Association Executive Director Ray Palmer

“Just as Florida with the leadership of Visit Florida leads the nation in the tourism industry, the Florida Sports Foundation sets the bar nationally as the model in the sports tourism segment, said Ray Palmer on his recognition.  “Florida is where the world comes to play and sports and recreation spending is responsible for $44.4 billion in economic output.  The 27 sports commission’s directors and staffs are some of the most highly respected names in the entire industry.  For the Pensacola Sports Association to be recognized with this award by the Governor of Florida and the Florida Sports Foundation is truly an honor second to none.”

The PSA has a full line-up of sports tourism events in the fall including the Pensacola Marathon Presented by Publix (Nov. 8), FCSAA State Volleyball Championship (Nov. 4-8), Pensacola Futures USTA Tennis Championship (Nov. 12-22), NCAA DII National Soccer Championships (Dec. 2-5) and NIRSA Flag Football National Championship (Jan. 1-3).  Other sports tourism events include youth soccer, ice hockey, equestrian, and senior softball.  A full listing of PSA and other sporting events can be found at www.pensacolasports.com.

“The Pensacola Sports Association has a long heritage of hosting a variety of amateur, leisure and collegiate sports in the Panhandle of Florida,” said FSF President John Webb.  “Over the years, their sports tourism events have brought in a significant number of out-of-state visitors from the Gulf Coast region of the United States and the Southeast to enhance the quality of life of those living in Northwest Florida.  Because of the professional efforts of Ray and the PSA the area will continue to experience sports tourism growth.”

“This honor is certainly well deserved,” said Steve Hayes, President of Visit Pensacola. “With each event that PSA brings to the Pensacola Bay Area, a new group of people are introduced to our beautiful destination. When they plan their vacations, we hope they remember the great time they had here in Pensacola.”

The PSA is one of the oldest sports associations/commissions in the United States, beginning in 1954.  Today the PSA manages or assists in numerous events a year throughout the Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa county areas.  Events include a high school all-star series, flag football, 5K-15K runs, marathons, triathlons, bicycle races, collegiate national championships, and annual awards and scholarships banquets to name a few.  The PSA is dedicated to building a better community through sports.

Double Bridge Run Race Day, Saturday Feb. 7, 2015 Pensacola, FL.  PSAbaseballQUICK3_15 (2) Double Bridge Run Race Day, Saturday Feb. 7, 2015 Pensacola, FL.

Airshow goes on, on the beach and Celebrity Softball in town this weekend!

Greetings Pensacola and surrounding areas! We know you all are down because our Blue Angels will not be starring in the 2013 Pensacola Beach Air show, but that isn’t a reason for you to stay at home this weekend!

Blue-Angels-beachThe 2013 Pensacola Beach Air Show will take place this weekend, July 12-13, and feature 24 civilian aircraft and a concert on Saturday night. The show kicks off at 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, followed by live entertainment by Atlanta-based R&B group the TAMS, at the Gulfside Pavilion on Casino Beach following Saturday’s air show. The weekend-long show will feature aerial performances by OTTO, the performing helicopter; Lima-Lima, a six-aircraft aerobatic formation team; Skip Stewart and his bi-plane; and Kevin Coleman performing in an Extra 300SHP, considered to be one of the highest performance airplanes in the world!

pensacola-beach-air-showThis is a show you won’t want to miss! Admission is free. Just remember to pack your sunscreen, beach umbrellas and coolers (no glass, please) for an unforgettable and thrilling weekend in the Pensacola Bay Area.

For more information about the air show, call 1-800-635-4803, or go to, visitpensacola.com

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Come join Reggie Evans and other pro-athletes at the Community Maritime Park Stadium this Saturday, July 13th, at 7p.m. for a softball game to benefit the Reggie Evans Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non profit, which is dedicated to providing needed resources to the Pensacola communities to help foster change and progress.

Pro-Athletes:

Derrick Brooks – Retired NFL
Tyronne Green – San Diego Chargers
Justin Gatlin – USA Olympic Track Team
Rashard Lewis – Miami Heat
Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns
D.J. Jordan – LA Clippers
Johanna Long – NASCAR
Michelle Snow – Washington Mystics
Marshon Brooks – Brooklyn Nets
Fred Robbins – Retired NFL
Andray Blatche – Brooklyn Nets
Marreese Speights – Cleveland CavaliersbildeCAWLHC8Q

Saturday night’s event schedule:

•  4-6 p.m.: Meet-and-greet Reggie Evans and the players before the charity softball game with food and refreshments at Blue Wahoos stadium. Tickets for the meet-and-greet are $35 per person (plus fees/taxes); game tickets sold separately.
•  5-8 p.m.: Silent Auction of autographed memorabilia from pro athletes.
•  7 p.m.: Charity Softball Game.

General admission tickets ($8), Meet & Greet tickets ($35), and VIP tickets ($150). You can purchase your tickets online by CLICKING HERE!

Pensacola to Host Two Major NCAA Div. I Baseball Games

Florida, Alabama, Troy, and Southern Miss to Play in 2014

The Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) is pleased to announce it has agreed to terms to host two NCAA Div. I baseball games in the spring of 2014. The University of Florida Gators will play the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on Tuesday, March 4 and the Alabama Crimson Tide will play the Troy Trojans on Tuesday, March 25.

Both games will be played at the new waterfront stadium at the Vince Whibb’s Sr. blue-wahoos-ballparkCommunity Maritime Park in Pensacola, FL.

“This will be a great event to showcase our great city and beautiful new waterfront ballpark,” commented Ray Palmer, PSA Executive Director. “All four of these programs have great support and a large alumni base in Northwest Florida. We feel these games will not only benefit our local sports fans, but will also be a sports tourism event for the area.”

Individual tickets will be available beginning in December by visiting http://www.pensacolasports.com or by visiting the stadium’s ticket office. Corporate sponsorship and group tickets will be available August 1 by calling the PSA office at 434-2800.

Game day operations are being contracted to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  Palmer stated that the Wahoos’ staff has the proven game day experience needed to provide the visiting teams a quality experience in the best atmosphere possible, as their 2012 “Organization of the Year” recognition confirms.

OSullivan_KevinUniversity of Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quote:

“We are looking forward to our program having an opportunity to compete next spring in Pensacola against a quality Southern Miss baseball program. “We are excited to travel and play in front of the Gator Fans in Northwest Florida’s Panhandle and compete in a beautiful stadium, it should be a tremendous environment.”

University of Southern Miss Head Coach Scott Berry Quote:

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“We are very excited for the opportunity to play the University of Florida at the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. This facility is second to none and will provide a great experience for both our players and fans alike. This will also give our Alumni in the Panhandle area a chance to see us play as well as the avid baseball fan who likes to see two good programs compete at the colligate level.”

Baseball Mugs Mitch Gaspard

Alabama Head Coach Mitch Gaspard Quote:

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring our team to Pensacola for a game at a great waterfront ball park. It should be a good game between two good baseball programs. We have a couple players from the Pensacola area, so it will be nice to give them an opportunity to play in front of their family and friends. Also, we have a large Alabama fan base in that region of Florida, so it will give them an opportunity to come to the local ball park and support the Crimson Tide.”

Troy University Head Coach Bobby Pierce Quote:player_Pierce_Bobby09

“Everyone associated with our baseball program is excited about the opportunity to play at the beautiful new waterfront park in Pensacola next year. Troy University has a very strong alumni presence in the northwest Florida region and we expect a great crowd while playing the University of Alabama. To have the chance to play a quality opponent in a professional venue is a great benefit for our program.”

For game and sponsorship information, contact Ray Palmer with the Pensacola Sports Association at 434-2800 or e-mail rpalmer@pensacolasports.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Pensacola Sports Association

We have so much to be grateful for in Pensacola and the Northwest Florida area in regards to sports, sporting events, and recreation.  Here’s a little recap of the 2012 year in sports in our area in no particular order or ranking:

  • Bubba Watson won the Masters and was a member of the US Ryder Cup TeamBubba Watson sports the Green Jacket after winning the Masters at Augusta
  • Northview High School won the FHSAA Class 1A Football State Championship
  • The Blue Wahoos made a big splash with their brand bay front new stadium and record breaking year on and off the field
  • Blue Wahoos’ Billy Hamilton broke and set the minor league baseball record for stolen bases in a season
  • UWF and PSA hosted the NCAA Div. II Women’s National Volleyball Championship
  • The Southwest Escambia Soccer and Football Complex opened
  • Lawrence Tynes won another Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants
  • Catholic Baseball won the FHSAA Class 4A State Championship
  • The Double Bridge Run was ranked the 11th largest 15K race in the country
  • Justin Gatlin won a Bronze and Silver Medal in the 2012 London Olympics
  • The UWF Women’s Soccer Team won the NCAA Div. II National Championship2012 UWF Soccer

These and many other team and individual sporting accomplishment will be recognized at our Annual Awards Banquet in March.

So here’s to another great year on and off the field, court, arena, course, track, pool, etc. for our Pensacola area athletes.

From the Pensacola Sports Association Board of Directors, staff, and countless volunteers: “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!”

See you in 2013, where even more records will be broken and championships brought back to Pensacola!!

Note: Our office will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 for the holidays and for building improvements and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Pensacola Area Sporting Events Affected by Tropical Storm Isaac

The Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) along with Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac. We hope you are too.  Here’s a recap of our areas sporting events affected by Tropical storm Isaac.

  • Our office will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will re-open on Thursday at 8 a.m.
  • Escambia county schools have canceled all classes and sports for Monday, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday. Santa Rosa county schools are in session for Monday but are canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please visit your school or district website for up to date information.
  • The University of West Florida and Pensacola State College’s doors are closed Monday through Wednesday. All events and classes are expected to start back up on Thursday. You can find all UWF storm updates at www.uwfemergency.org.
  • The Pensacola Blue Wahoos season ticket holder party that was scheduled for Wednesday, August 29 has been postponed. That event will now be held once the Wahoos season has concluded. The Blue Wahoos last home stand of the season begins this Thursday as scheduled.
  • Pensacola Christian Academy and Pensacola Christian College have told student’s classes and sporting events are still on for Monday but will be off Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • All First Tee of Northwest Florida Golf and Life Skills classes are cancelled all this week.

This is the current information we have.  For up to date information on specific sporting events, check that event’s website and/or Facebook page.

Stay safe,

PSA staff

Youth Baseball and Softball Draws Thousands to Pensacola

July in Pensacola and Northwest Florida means the beach, Blue Angels, Blue Wahoos baseball, and……youth baseball and softball tournaments.

Gulf Coast Elite World Series

Every year, thousands of people fly and drive to Pensacola to play on one of our 60 quality fields, which can be seen busy with tournament play nearly every day during the summer.

With five major youth baseball tournaments hosted by United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), Nations Baseball and B.E.S.T. Baseball, the area will be awash in baseball players accompanied by their coaches and their families. USSSA will be playing their games at the Pace Sportsplex, the Nations Baseball Elite and Ultimate World Series will be played at John R. Jones complex on Nine Mile Road, and the B.E.S.T. Baseball 2012 Championship Series Tournament (17U and 18U teams), will play at several local high school fields and at the University of West Florida.

Many families plan their summer vacations around these tournaments, extending their stays to take advantage of the many attractions in and around Pensacola, including the beach, shopping, great restaurants, and the Naval

Aviation Museum. These tournaments will combine to bring over 3,000 visitors and generate a direct economic impact of $2.1 million dollars for our area.

So next time you see a caravan of cars, trucks, and mini-vans with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama license plates, be sure to say, “Welcome to Pensacola and good luck!”

Sally Garst

This Weekend’s Sports Schedule

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Home Games:

  • Friday, May 11 @ 7:00 p.m. vs. Birmingham
  • Saturday, May 12 @ 6: 30 p.m. vs. Birmingham
  • Sunday, May 13 @ 2 p.m. vs. Birmingham
  • Monday, May 14 @ 7 p.m. vs. Birmingham
  • Tuesday, May 15 @ 7 p.m. vs. Birmingham

Running Events:

High School Sports:

  • Friday, May 11 – Baseball – Pace vs. Columbia – 6A Regional Final – 7 p.m.

If you know of any other sporting events and would like us to promote them, please send us a note at jlibbert@pensacolasports.com.

 

Upcoming Pensacola Sporting Events

28th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss & Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party

Friday, April 27                                                                                                                    Join the thousands of people from across the country that take part in this annual spring event! Everyone gathers at the Flora-Bama, (straddles the Florida-Alabama State line) for the nationally recognized fish-tossing party. For more information, please visit www.florabama.com

FCSAA State Fast-Pitch Championships     

Friday, April 27-Sunday, April 29                                                                                           The 2012 FCSAA Women’s Fast-Pitch Softball State Championships will be played all weekend at Exchange Park in Pensacola.

 Bud Light Charity Golf Tournaments

Friday, May 04                                                                                                                      The tournament, at Marcus Pointe Golf Club will feature lots of unique door prizes, ditty bags, refreshments, and awards. All proceeds will support PSA programs and ARC Gateway. For more information please call 850-434-2638 for more information.

UWF ARGOS Athletics Home Events

Sunday, April 29: M. Tennis vs. TBA (NCAA South Regional) 10:00 a.m.

Monday, April 30
: M. Tennis vs. TBA (NCAA South Regional) 3:00 p.m.

 Blue Wahoo Home Baseball in Maritime Park

Tuesday, May 1  Vs. Jackson Generals @ 7:00 PM

Wednesday, May 2  Vs. Jackson Generals @ 7:00 PM

Thursday, May 3  Vs.  Jackson Generals @ 7:00 PM

Friday, May 4  Vs. Jackson Generals @ 7:00 PM

Pensacola’s Runners Association Events for Saturday,  May 28 @ 8:00 a.m.  

Humane Society Charity 5k sponsored by Washington High School

Mockingbird Run 8K/Fun Run

Run for the Stars

Funfest 5K

Coming Up Pensacola Sporting Events

UWF Argos at Home

Saturday, April 14

Softball vs. West Georgia @ noon
Baseball vs. West Alabama @ 2:00
Softball vs. West Georgia @ 2:00
Baseball vs.West Alabama @ 5:00

Sunday, April 15

Baseball vs. West Alabama @ 1:00
Softball vs. #1 Valdosta State @ 2:00
Softball vs. #1 Valdosta State @ 4:00

Wednesday, April 18

Baseball vs. Spring Hill @ 5:00

      Perdido Dragon Boat Races! Saturday, April 14

Enjoy watching teams participate in the ancient and international sport of dragon boat racing! The races will be held at the Perdido Key Oyster Bar and Marina at noon. Vendors, arts and crafts, and kid’s activities start at11a.m.at the Oyster Bar Restaurant & Marina. more information visit http://VisitPerdidoKey.com or call 850-492-4660

3rd Annual Gulf Coast Half Marathon! Sunday, April 15th

All participants that complete the 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Half Marathon will receive an awesome finisher medal! For more information visit http://gulfcoasthalf.com/pensacola-beach

PRG vs. North Shore Roller Girls! Sunday, April 15

Pensacola Roller Gurlz Home Bout starts @ 7:00 p.m. @ the Dreamland Skate Center

 Blue Wahoo’s Home Ball Games @ Community Maritime Park!

Sunday, April 15 vs JAX  @ 4:00 p.m.

Monday, April 16 vs JAX @ 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 17 vs JAX  @ 7:00 p.m.

Wendesday, April 18 vs JAX  @ 7:00 p.m.

Thuresday, April 19 vs JAX  @ 7:00 p.m.

Pensacola Ice Flyers!

Saturday, April 14 vs Cottonmouths @ 7:05 p.m. @ The Pensacola Civic Center

Coming Up Pensacola Sporting Events

                        Blue Wahoos Home Games at Maritime Park Stadium
Friday, April 6 @ 7:00 pm                                                                                       Opponent: Montgomery Biscuits                                                                                   Promos:  Magnet Schedule presented by Andrews Institute.
Saturday, April 7 @ 6:30 pm                                                                                     Opponent: Montgomery Biscuits                                                                                   Promos:  Easter Egg Hunt and Fireworks presented by Dlux Printing and Marcus Pointe Baptist Church. Baseball theme night:  “Sandlot,”  sponsored by Dlux Printing. There will be costumes, performers, games, some giveaways!
Sunday, April 8 @ 2:00 pm                                                                                             Opponent: Montgomery Biscuits                                                                                 Promos:  Replica Helmet Giveaway presented by The Naval Aviation Museum
 Monday, April 9 @ 7:00 pm                                                                                   Opponent: Montgomery Biscuits
Tickets for individual games are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at http://BlueWahoos.com or by phone at (850) 934-8488.
                                Ice Flyers Home Games at the Pensacola Civic Center
Thursday, April 5 @ 6:30 pm                                                                                   Opponent: Ice Bears
Saturday, April 7 @ 7:05pm                                                                                   Opponent: Ice Bears
For more ticket information visit http://pensacolaiceflyers.com
                                    University of West Florida Athletics Home Games
Saturday, April 7                                                                                                             M. Tennis vs. #15 St. Edward’s @ 9:00 am                                                                     W. Tennis vs. Valdosta State @ 9:00 am
W. Tennis vs. West Georgia @ noon
Sunday, April 8                                                                                                              M. Tennis vs. #14 Hawaii Pacific @ 9:00 am
Tuesday, April 10                                                                                                         Baseball vs. North Georgia @ 6:00
Wednesday, April 11                                                                                                   Baseball vs. North Georgia @ 2:00 pm
For more information visit http://goargos.com
                                                    Pensacola Runners Events
Saturday, April 7                                                                                                  
Sandman 5k run/walk @7:30                                                                                                                                                        Location: Pensacola Beach                                                                                                 For more information contact Tanner Furr at tannerfurr@hotmail.com or 850-529-8708. Or visit http://active.com/page/Event_Details.htm?event_id=2006303&assetId=41457
UWF Bunny Dash 5K@ 8:30 am                                                                                        Location: UWF                                                                                                                 For more information contact Beth Godwin at erg1@students.uwf.edu or 850-474-2815. Or visit http://uwf.edu/recreation/FitnessWellness/BunnyDash.cfm
Have a great weekend,                                                                                                       Laura