Temple, TX: Sports in the Heart of the Lone Star State
31 Aug, 2010By: Juli Anne Patty
In Temple, "friendly healthy Texas fun" is the name of the game, and this is one town that knows about games. A city of nearly 60,000 located in central Texas, Temple shows its passion for play with a variety of first-rate sports facilities and a full-service, experienced convention and visitors bureau staff.
"We really try to excel at customer service in event planning," says Nancy Glover, manager, Temple Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We want event planners to feel that they have their own staff here without sending anyone, and we do everything, from small things like goodie bags for the athletes up to banquets, whatever they need us to do to make the event run smoothly. This is really not typical of larger cities."
Temple takes the sports experience far beyond just service, though. Sports event planners bring a wide variety of events back to Temple year after year thanks to the town's trifecta of sports event success: location, affordability and friendly people.
The Perfect Spot for Sports
Located in the center of Texas within three hours of 88 percent of the state's population, including the population powerhouses of Austin, Houston and Dallas, Temple offers a central spot that's convenient for millions of athletes and their families. The city sits right along Interstate 35, a prime north-south artery that runs from Laredo, Texas,all the way up to Duluth, Minnesota.
When you bring an event to Temple, you get a location convenient to all of Texas's major metro areas, but you also get all the amenities of a larger location along with the affordability and friendliness you'd expect from a small town.
"We conducted a study recently, through surveys of people who'd been to Temple, and we asked them what struck them most about our town. Turns out friendliness was the thing people remembered most about Temple," explains Glover. "But another asset a lot of people comment on is affordability. We have a range of inexpensive lodging properties, and the cost of things in general in the area is very affordable. That's so important because these teams constantly travel, and they pull so much out of their own pockets."
Temple also features more than thirty lodging choices, ranging from national brand upscale to extended stay hotels. The area also features four RV parks and campgrounds, nestled nearby one of the area's gems, beautiful Lake Belton. Of the thirty lodging properties, thirteen are budget-friendly options and are privately owned.
No one leaves Temple hungry either. Whether you're looking for a fun post-game family meal or a banquet for the entire team, Temple offers the right place to dine, as well as a CVB staff of experts who will help you find the restaurant that suits your tastes and your budget.
And since no one can live by sports alone, Temple also offers a huge variety of entertainment and activities to wile away the hours between games. Unique for a town its size, Temple is home to the Temple Symphony Orchestra, which provides the community music of the highest artistic standards. Visitors can also choose from a number of other cultural experiences, as well, including theatre and museums.
But cultural events are just the beginning. Established in 1881, Temple is full of historic gems, such as the newly renovated Santa Fe Depot, a beautiful array of historic homes in the historic residential district, and more than a century of architectural wonders in the downtown historic district. Temple also offers some unique ways to see those sites, including a bicycle tour of the area's historic homes.
"We really value our town's heritage, so we've taken a lot of pains as a community to preserve our historical buildings and landmarks," says Glover.
For an extra attendance incentive, some sports event planners bring their games to Temple in conjunction with one of the area's many annual events, such as the Bloomin' Temple Festival, Central Texas Airshow, Texas Early Day Tractor and Engine Association Show, Temple Jazz Festival or the July 4th All American Family Fun Fest.
Facilities for All
Offering a great town for your event is crucial, and Temple has that covered, but that's just one step. Great facilities are also imperative, and Temple is on top of that, too.
Temple brings a huge variety of sports events and tournaments to town each year, including softball, basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, archery and cheerleading, just to name a few. Temple's top-notch facilities, expertly managed by Temple Parks & Leisure Services, make the perfect pair to launch a successful sports event of any size. In fact, the National Recreation and Parks Association selected Temple Parks & Leisure Services as a finalist for its 2009 and 2010 Gold Medal Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the parks and recreation industry.
Whatever your sport, Temple Parks and Leisure Services has a home for it, with eight baseball fields, 10 softball fields, eight soccer fields, 26 tennis courts, three indoor basketball courts, two stunning golf courses and two disc golf courses.
Wilson Park Sports Complex is one of Temple's premier facilities, drawing events, including several American Softball Association (ASA) tournaments, back again and again. Wilson Park is a 120-acre complex featuring two tennis courts, four baseball fields, four softball fields, six soccer fields, two basketball courts and a sand volleyball court, as well as amenities like a playground, walking trail and picnic shelters to give athletes' families a place to stay and play during tournaments.
Aquatics has a new home in Temple at the Sammons Park Indoor Pool, one of the largest projects on the 2007 Temple Parks Bond. The Sammons Park Pool, which opened in August, offers an indoor aquatics facility with four 25-yard lanes.
The area's colleges, Temple College and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, also provide some exciting and exceptional athletic facilities for Temple area events.
"These two colleges are very supportive of the athletic events that are hosted in Central Texas," says Glover. "They are enthusiastic partners with the Temple CVB, and we've seen that use of these outstanding facilities is always a crowd pleaser."
Indoor facilities at the colleges include the Bell County Expo Center, Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center, and many others. Bell County Expo Center is home to a number of Temple events, from cheerleading competitions to the annual American Cutting Horse Association National Tournament.
Fishing tournaments are also huge in Temple, with more than 200 tournaments on the waters of nearby Lakes Belton and Stillhouse each year. The area offers prime bass, crappie and catfish fishing, all set against the beautiful, still waters of Temple's two lakes.Located just a short drive from downtown Temple, these havens of fantastic fishing, not to mention a number of water sports events, draw hundreds of competitors to Temple's freshwater shores each year. Add to that the uncommonly sunny, warm Texas weather, and you've got the setting for a major sports success.
Take a Tour of Temple
"Temple isn't necessarily top of mind, but it should be. People choose Temple because of our great location, facilities and affordability, but they come back because of the way everybody just rolls out the red carpet for athletes and guests," says Glover. "We want everyone to know we're not keeping Temple a secret. Let us show you what we have to offer. Come on in we'll give you the tour."
For more information about how Temple can take on your next event and make it shine, contact Nancy Glover at the Temple Convention and Visitors Bureau: (254) 298-5379, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.discovertemple.com.