Philadelphia, Eagles to host global sports summit in September

Mayor Nutter looks to Christina Lurie at Wednesday's City Hall announcement of September's Beyond Sports Summit. Also attending were (from left) Nick Keller, Don Smolenski, Dikembe Mutombo, and Brian Dawkins.
Mayor Nutter looks to Christina Lurie at Wednesday's City Hall announcement of September's Beyond Sports Summit. Also attending were (from left) Nick Keller, Don Smolenski, Dikembe Mutombo, and Brian Dawkins. (            ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 19, 2013

Philadelphia will be the site of the 2013 Beyond Sport Summit from Sept. 9 to 11, Mayor Nutter announced at City Hall on Wednesday. The Eagles, who won the Beyond Sport award in 2011 for their work in the community, will host the annual event for the global organization that promotes and funds sports as a vehicle for social change.

"I think we're the greatest sports town in the United States of America, and we know that sport has a tremendous impact, especially on our young people," said Nutter, who was joined at the announcement by former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins and former 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo. "We talked earlier about its impact with regard to education obtainment, attendance, lack of truancy."

The summit attracts a large, diverse, international audience, which Nutter said would provide a social and economic influence on the area. It will be held throughout the city, with the Loews Hotel as the main location. Lincoln Financial Field and the Wharton School also will host events.

Sessions at the summit will range from sustainability to youth leadership to social inclusion, among other topics. Philadelphia's professional teams are involved in the summit, and the summit is backed by the major sports leagues.

"There's this passion for sport in this city, there's this desire to host an international event to take Philadelphia as a sport city and deepen that engagement globally," Beyond Sport founder Nick Keller said. "This is about taking the message a little wider. The things that bind us together might be our passion for sport, but we're all facing the same issues."

There will be direct and indirect investment in the city, from funding for a local sports organization to the hope of social improvement created from the event. Discussions about Philadelphia's serving as a site started in 2011 at the summit in Cape Town, South Africa, when the Eagles were honored. Keller was encouraged by the Eagles' reputation and Nutter's support of sports.

"They asked if we would support and take a leadership role in bringing parties together," Eagles president Don Smolenski said. "Giving back to the community and being involved in the community is part of our DNA, as it is with the other sports teams in the area. We didn't hesitate to be involved, because it showcases the cities, it showcases all the teams, it showcases all the great work done in the community."


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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