Earlier this morning, Kristi L. Schoepfer, the Executive Director of the Sports and Recreation Law Association (SRLA), informed the membership that the 2021 conference would be held virtually.
“Reasons for this decision” have been shared below:
• Uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and an inability to predict circumstances in February 2021;
• 44% of respondents to the SRLA survey indicated that they expected travel funds to decrease or be revoked in AY 2020-2021;
• 33% of respondents to the SRLA survey indicated that they were uncertain of funding availability in AY 2020-2021;
• Qualitative comments within the survey expressed support for a virtual conference if the decision was made in a timely fashion;
• The contract with the hotel in Atlanta required $25,000 in liquidated damages if SRLA continued to plan for an in-person conference, and needed to cancel the conference up until November 15, 2020;
• The contract with the hotel in Atlanta required $30,000+ in liquidated damages if SRLA continued to plan for an in-person conference, and needed to cancel the conference between November 15, 2020 and the conference dates;
• ExOrdo, our abstract management provider, has developed a new virtual conference platform that will allow SRLA to plan and host a robust virtual conference.
“Please understand that the SRLA Board of Directors did not make this decision lightly,” wrote Schoepfer. “We understand that there is no replacement for the in-person conference we are fortunate enough to share each year. However, given the uncertainties regarding funding, travel, and the liabilities of our contract, combined with our confidence in the ExOrdo product, we feel this is the best course of action. We are committed to spending the summer and fall semester planning a virtual conference that will meet your expectations.”
She added that “the 2022 Conference will be held in Atlanta, and we anticipate the 2023 conference will be in Las Vegas.”