Tampa Bay Local Organizing Committee Pursues  First-Ever Sustainable Major Event Certification  During 2019 NCAA​®​ Women’s Final Four​®

Tampa, Fla. (February 5, 2019) -- For the first time in Tampa Bay major event history, the Tampa Bay Local Organizing Committee (TBLOC), TECO Energy and Amalie Arena will team up during the 2019 NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in pursuit of the prestigious sustainable event certification, presented by the Council for Responsible Sport.

The Council for Responsible Sport is the world’s leading sustainable sports certification program, offering three core programs that help manage, measure and deliver purposeful events that go above and beyond the bottom line. The certification process recognizes efforts across five pillars of responsible sport; planning and communication, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy. To lead the efforts, a subcommittee consisting of community partners, local experts and sustainability thought leaders have been chosen to help guide the process and elevate Tampa Bay’s innovative green initiatives. The robust subcommittee consists of representatives from the following organizations: TECO Energy, Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay Sports Commission, City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation, the University of South Florida Patel College of Sustainability, Strategic Property Partners, Tampa Convention Center, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Feeding Tampa Bay, Hilton Tampa Downtown, Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Westin Tampa Bay, Westin Tampa Waterside, Renaissance Tampa International Plaza, The Recycling Partnership, and Resource Recycling Systems.

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"Sustainability applied to events is much more than recycling. The TBLOC and its partners are going through a robust process of putting systems and plans in place that are tailored to ensure accessibility to the event and ancillary activities, weigh the environmental impacts as part of purchasing decisions for good and services, engage and inspire local youth, and elevate local businesses to maximize positive local economic impact--and to have those efforts verified according to industry best practices put forth by the Council for Responsible Sport,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

“We are incredibly grateful to our community partners at TECO Energy and Amalie Arena for helping us to invest in and elevate the sustainability efforts around the premier women’s championship,” said Claire Lessinger, Executive Director of the TBLOC. “The opportunity to team up with the Council for Responsible Sport further highlights the ongoing social impact and lasting legacy that the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® continues to have on the Tampa Bay community.”

Over the upcoming months, community partners will provide support and host events designed to achieve the TBLOC’s social and environmental goals. Notably, TECO Energy will provide renewable energy offsets, helping produce a carbon neutral championship at Amalie Arena on April 5 & 7, 2019.

“TECO Energy is excited to be part of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four, supporting sustainability in Tampa,” said Sarah MacDonald, President of TECO Services, Inc. “Their efforts to be environmental stewards matches TECO’s efforts around sustainability as we focus on safely delivering cleaner, affordable and reliable energy to customers everywhere we operate. We have similar interests in building a strong community legacy and taking care of our resources; in fact, some of the six million solar panels we’re installing throughout Tampa will contribute to making the energy the Final Four uses carbon neutral. A community effort that leaves a lasting legacy? We wouldn’t want to miss being a part of that.”

About the Tampa Bay Sports Commission

The Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC), host of the 2019 NCAA® Women’s Final Four®, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating social and economic impact through sports and entertainment in the Tampa Bay Area. As part of the championship efforts, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission provides local expertise, marketing and event management, and is responsible for raising the funds required to produce the Women’s Final Four and all supporting events. The 2019 NCAA® Women’s Final Four® will be held at Amalie Arena from April 5 -7. For more information on game tickets, please visit ncaa.com/womensfinalfour. For more informationon event festivities, sponsorship, or volunteer opportunities, please visit wfftampabay.com. For news and event information, follow the TBSC on Facebook, TwitterandInstagramorsubscribe to the #WFFTampaBay newsletter.