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Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Emmy-award winning broadcaster Bob Costas are among the headliners who will attend the Travel, Events and Management in Sports Conference and Expo Monday through Thursday in Salt Lake City.

The annual gathering and trade show for the sports event and travel industries provides a platform for leading experts in the sports industry to interact. More than 800 sports-events suppliers, representatives from potential event destinations and other sports industry professionals are expected to attend.

The groups will attend seminars on topics such as sports travel, tourism economics, safety and promoting events on social media. Some of those attending the meet will visit the Utah Olympic Park and the Utah Olympic Oval.

"Sports are a key economic driver in Utah that have generated over $1.4 billion to the state's economy since 2002, keeping Utah's Olympic legacy alive and well," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, which is hosting the event along with Visit Salt Lake. "This sports conference alone will bring an estimated $7.3 million to Utah's economy."

The event, which is presented by SportsTravel magazine, could prove to have long-term value to Utah. Many sporting event organizers attend the TEAMS Expo, and the impression Salt Lake and Utah leaves has the potential to bring some of them back to the state.

According to Plunkett Research, the estimated size of the entire sport industry is $425 billion, making it one of the top 10 largest industries in the United States. States and communities have formed organizations such as the Utah Sports Commission, who work to bring sporting events and businesses into their state.

"We're thrilled with the opportunity to host TEAMS '13 in Salt Lake and at the Salt Palace Convention Center," said Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. "Showcasing our community and its incredible sporting infrastructure to such an influential group of decision-makers will surely have long-lasting benefits to Salt Lake and the state of Utah. Attendees will see firsthand why we were awarded the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and all that has come since hosting that incredibly successful event."

In addition to Romney and Costas, several other name speakers will be part of the program.

These include Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association; Stephen Miller, chief operating officer of Miller Sports Properties; Mark Lewis, the NCAA's executive vice-president for championships and alliances; Atlanta Braves' vice-president Mike Plant; sports agent Jerry Solomon, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Twitter: @tribtomwharton

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