Details for the 2018 Golden Goggles Awards, USA Swimming’s annual awards ceremony, have been released, and there are some significant changes coming to the event scheduled for November 19th.
The 2018 event will return to New York, which was expected as in recent history, the event has bounced back-and-forth between the East Coast hub of New York and the West Coast hub of Los Angeles. But, instead of being hosted at a Marriott hotel (the JW Marriott has been the traditional host in LA, and the Marriott Marquis has been the traditional host in NYC), this year’s event will be hosted at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.
In 2010, Marriott became the official hotel of USA Swimming, and they are still listed as a corporate partner of the USA Swimming Foundation. Though the brand of the hotel is new, Marriott and Starwood, the parent company of Sheraton, announced a merger in late 2016, but are just now rolling out joint marketing programs, such as their joint loyalty program. So, while the venue is changing, the company, technically, is not.
The Sheraton’s Metropolitan Ballroom, its largest, is 14,535 square feet and seats up to 1,600 people in a banquet setting. The Marriott Marquis in New York City can arrange for banquets with up to 2,000 guests, though both offer a wide range of configurations.
Single-seat ticket prices have also jumped since last year – by $250. In 2017, a spot at the event could be had for $1,250. According to flyers sent out by USA Swimming last week, those seats now cost $1,500.
Prices of tickets for 2018 Golden Goggles Awards:
- Platinum Level Tables for 8 guests – $50,000
- Gold Level Tables for 8 guests – $25,000
- Silver Level Tables for 8 guests – $15,000
- Bronze Level Tables for 8 guests – $10,000 ($2000 cheaper than buying 8 single seats)
- Individual seats – $1,500
Besides the celebratory side, the event serves as a fundraiser for the USA Swimming Foundation, having earned $2.6 million for the foundation since its launch in 2004. That’s in addition to $348,906 in the past 4 years from the silent auction.
The net contribution to USA Swimming from the event in 2017 was exactly $100,000, while in 2016 it was $250,000, according to audited foundation financial statements.