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Corpus Christi, Texas

28 Feb, 2010

By: Andrea Johnson
For Events that Bring Fun and Sun for Everyone - Organizers Included - Go Corpus Christi!

Corpus Christi out paces the competition by a long shot if you're looking for a location that offers:

  • Spectacular natural beauty and a plethora of fun things to do.

  • Sunshine and sea breezes that create the perfect year-round climate for everything from triathlons to fishing competitions to sailing regattas.

  • Modern, state-of-the-art facilities at an incredible value.

  • A population that loves sports and is eager to step up to the plate with all the resources to make your event a success.

  • Local businesses eager to give you everything you need so that your event is executed easily and effortlessly.

  • American Bank Center: Location, Amenities and Service to Make You Say, 'Wow!'

     

Setting the tone for this spectacular sports destination is the American Bank Center. It's perfectly positioned on Corpus Christi's bay front to leave a dazzling impression on event participants. Its soaring Grand Foyer Lobby Entrance showcases the city's natural beauty with breathtaking views.

"When guests arrive at the center, they're awestruck, I hear a lot of 'wows,'" smiles Donna Cannatella, director of Convention Sales for American Bank Center. This world-class multi-purpose venue can comfortably serve 50 to 10,000 people for events ranging from ice hockey to power lifting to basketball.

The Convention Center includes a 76,500-square-foot exhibit hall, 22 meeting rooms, and a 20,000-square-foot ballroom with an amazing pre-function area that overlooks the spectacular Corpus Christi Bay from 20feet above ground floor. This area is perfect for setting up registration, and is capable of hosting more than 700 for a reception. Sparkling glass and Texas limestone gleam throughout the facility. A large glass-encased entrance with a circular drive provides easy attendee drop off.

The Selena Auditorium seats 2,526 and features a 2,880-square-foot rehearsal hall, two committee rooms, and a 2,000-square-foot octagonal great room totally enclosed in glass with gorgeous views of Corpus Christi Bay.

A multi-purpose arena has seating up to 10,000, with state-of-the-art audio-visual and data communications capabilities.

Customized in-house catering services develop just about any menu that the client requests.

Top-notch event-planning and marketing professionals work hand-in-hand with organizers to ensure every aspect is executed perfectly. These professionals will gladly oversee the smallest detail, whether it's finding mark-up boards, creating CAD floor plans, or attaining licenses for fireworks.

"Having such a wide variety of venues under one roof provides excellent options for organizations to work within their budget," says Cannatella. "For instance, our arena was just too large and too expensive for one of our cheer events, but the exhibit hall worked out perfectly. The event planners were able to leverage the excellent Corpus Christi location, and the beauty and amenities of the center without breaking the bank."

Darren DeMoss, CEO of the Worldwide Spirit Association (WSA), which hosts dozens of cheerleading competitions across the United States every year, says he looks forward to his annual event at the American Bank Center.

"They are incredibly easy to work with. You see, we know what we need to do to set up a facility—we own our own trucks, our own staging and lighting—and the professionals at the American Bank Center trust us to do what we need to make it happen. Too many places don't operate like that—they want to charge me thousands of dollars to have four guys sit around and watch us unload. That would never happen at the American Bank Center.

"Moreover, they're super accommodating and that makes my life a lot easier. They have adequate loading docks and personnel to make sure help is there when we need it. Furthermore, it's a beautiful facility and very affordable," he added. "Finally, you just can't beat the fun beach atmosphere that's perfect for everyone who comes to town, including me!"

A Natural Choice for Event Success
Keith Arnold, president and CEO of the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, leads a team that is charged with making sure that a good time is had by all in Corpus Christi, and he says making that happen comes naturally in this community of sports enthusiasts.

Arnold has had a long career in sports events. He's served on three sporting commissions and has helped communities across the nation attract sports events like the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and even the Olympics, but he insists there's no place like Corpus Christi.

"Our spectacular venues are not limited to man made structures," he explains. "We're a waterside city with year-round ocean breezes that make the climate mild regardless of temperature. This provides perfect conditions for yachting regattas—you'll see sailboats in our harbor practically every day. And there is windsurfing and kiteboarding championships—Corpus Christi is a top wind-surfing and kiteboarding site—as well as fishing tournaments which happen practically every other week."

The site lines for these events are unparalleled, thanks to a tiered sea wall downtown that spectators use as bleachers. Conveniently across the street are hotels, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. And getting from one end of Corpus Christi to the other is no problem. It takes less than 20 minutes, even during rush hour, even in a MSA of approximately 500,000.

"Traffic is virtually nonexistent here," says Arnold.

Unparalleled Civic Support
But what Corpus Christi does have in abundance is enthusiasm and appreciation for sports events. "We are very fortunate to have a business community that appreciates the importance of events to the local economy, as well as the prestige our university brings to the city,"said Tim Fitzpatrick, director of Athletics for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. "This will be our second consecutive year hosting the Southland Conference Championship for baseball, in partnership with the Corpus Christi Hooks, and we could not make it happen without the fantastic civic support."

"When we came to town in 2005, we had community support from the get-go, even businesses that are in competition with each other set that competition aside and wholeheartedly support us," replied Ken Schrom, president of the Corpus Christi Hooks, a minor-league baseball class AA affiliate. "The community support has been fabulous and in five years, we've had 2 million fans visit our games. That's pretty remarkable."

So is the venue in which the games are held. Whataburger Field was named the Sports Turf Managers Association Field of the Year. It exudes a retro feel that harkens back to baseball's heyday and offers 5,050 fixed seats, 19 luxury suites and two outfield berm areas to accommodate nearly 2,000 fans. Conveniently located downtown, this venue, too, has spectacular views of the bay front.

The Attention Your Event Deserves
Could Corpus Christi offer anything beyond than beautiful location, exceptional venues, and an exceptionally supportive business and cultural climate?

"Absolutely!" insists Arnold.

The summit of an event organizer's experience in Corpus Christi is the support of the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We provide highly personalized attention from start to finish," Arnold explains. This includes staff assigned to your event to attain and help oversee:

  • Sponsorships

  • Housing

  • Publicity

  • Volunteers

  • Permits

  • Traffic control

  • Security

  • And much more.

     

"We'll identify potential sponsors and go on joint calls with you. We'll find the volunteer base to ensure your event runs smoothly. We'll identify the best hotels for your audience and help you attain the best price," says Arnold. "Unless you're a huge event, you will be very hard-pressed to get this kind of personalized attention in larger locales."

Fitzpatrick concurs, "We have everything we need to run a successful championship in Corpus Christi – a very supportive convention and visitors bureau, a strongly sports-oriented community, a wide variety of hotels from luxury to middle-of-the-road, outstanding restaurants, fun things to do, not to mention the nature of the city itself. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more inviting place to host your sporting event."

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