APPLETON, Wis. — The Red Smith Sports Awards Banquet has been 1 of the most well-known events in the Fox Valley and surrounding Wisconsin for 57 consecutive years.

It really is not on the calendar this year.

What you need to have to know

  • Just after 57 consecutive years, the Red Smith Sports Award Banquet has place its occasion on hold
  • Covid, declining attendance, adjust of date and venue have been the elements that led to this selection
  • Banquet officials stated they hope to return in 2024

“We will not have a banquet in 2023,” stated Paul McCann, chairman of the Red Smith Committee. “We appear ahead to 2024 in the hope that we can renew the enthusiasm that has usually accompanied the 57-year tradition of the banquet.”

“We hope to be capable to bring every person back with each other quickly.” I would not guarantee a banquet in 2024, but if we see demand, that would be our aim.

Declining attendance, COVID, moving the banquet from January to April and altering venues factored into the selection, McCann stated.

“The 2022 banquet was not a monetary accomplishment,” stated McCann, who noted he lost $20,000. “It was poorly attended. Ticket sales are down, appropriate right after COVID. For that reason, we have not been capable to raise sufficient funds for the grants that we are applied to providing. That is our tradition. Give at least $30,000 a year. We will continue to do so from our Red Smith Fund at (Neighborhood Foundation for the Fox Valley Area), a fund set up just for this occasion if for some purpose the banquet could not take location.

More than the years, the occasion has featured Hall of Famers from all important sports, Heisman Trophy winners, baseball commissioners, Indy 500 winners, important golf champions, renowned authors, writers and popular tv sports personalities. Final year’s banquet featured Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton, NFL Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler and the 2018 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Curling Group.

Bob Costas at the Red Smith Sports Awards Banquet. (Photo courtesy: Red Smith Sports Awards Banquet by way of Facebook)

In spite of final year’s lineup, McCann stated the banquet drew only 500 fans. Attendance is normally amongst 1,000 and 1,500.

“We’re going to commit 2023 obtaining strategies to reconnect with our audience with the historical content material that we have,” McCann stated. “Concentrate on youth sports in this region utilizing our brand to bring interest to youth sports.” And ideally you must be prepared and get sufficient interest and traction to have a banquet in 2024.

Element of the strategy for the reunion will be a Red Smith podcast, along with YouTube spinoffs, from the history of the banquet.

“We decided to do some thing about raising public awareness,” he stated. “We have so a great deal content material from 57 years of infused star energy.” Use the historical content material we have to re-engage our audience.”

The banquet has provided more than a million dollars to regional youth sports organizations more than the years. That consists of an initial $500 in 1965 for the Appleton Foxes — now the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league group — to assistance them keep financially steady.

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By Editor