Located in the heart of Illinois, the Peoria Area is known as a premier sporting destination in the Midwest. The city carries a rich tradition of sports, playing host to a great number of events each year, both local and national - traditional and unique.
It Plays in Peoria
A key element in planning a successful sports event is finding a venue that best fits your needs, and the Peoria Area offers a number of versatile outdoor and indoor venues ready for game-time.
The city’s newest prized jewel is the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex. Sponsored by the sports powerhouse Louisville Slugger, the multi-sport facility features ten synthetic turf fields for baseball, softball and soccer, as well as a 125,000 sq. ft. dome for indoor sports. The versatility and pristine condition of the complex is enough to draw in major tournaments from across the country, but the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex was built with player and fan experience top of mind. Major league style dugouts, elevated press boxes, electronic scoreboards and stadium-style championship fields bring even the youngest players into a professional-level atmosphere.
For indoor events, Downtown Peoria presents sports planners the SMG-managed Peoria Civic Center. As the largest exhibition facility in Downstate Illinois, the Peoria Civic Center offers a total of 900,000 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space. The 110,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall is essentially a blank canvas, with the capability to house most indoor sports. Whether it be for volleyball, basketball or wrestling - cheerleading, dance or gymnastics – the exhibit halls are a winning choice.
Under the same roof lies the 11,330-seat Carver arena. Home to Bradley University Men’s Basketball and The Peoria Rivermen (a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League), Carver Arena is no stranger to hosting large sporting events.
Other key outdoor facilities in Peoria include the Peoria FC United Complex and Detweiller Park. Each of these open-air facilities offer quality space for sports events. As one of the largest soccer complexes in Central Illinois, Peoria FC United Complex is comprised of 27 fields. Detweiller Park provides the area with an additional 18 soccer fields, two football fields and a nine-hole golf course. Yet, perhaps the most attractive element to the park is its natural terrain, which attracts several cross-country events each year, including the Illinois High School Association’s long-standing State Cross Country Finals.
More to Explore
Off the field, the Peoria Area provides players and fans amazing sports entertainment. In the summer months, your attendees can catch a Peoria Chiefs baseball game, the St. Louis Cardinals Single-A affiliate. In the fall and winter, the Peoria Rivermen duke it out on the ice at Carver Arena.
Sports-centered attractions isn’t all the Peoria Area has to offer. The Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitor’s Center are just a short walk away from the Peoria Civic Center. Elsewhere, the Peoria Zoo, the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum and Wildlife Prairie Park will all provide hours of entertainment between games.
Stress-free travel to and from the Peoria area is a key highlight for many of our planners. The Peoria Area is only a short drive from major Midwest cities including Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis; for those traveling by air, the easily navigated Peoria International Airport has 12 direct flights across the country.
Sports planners also appreciate the 4,000+ hotel rooms from a variety of properties that suit every budget, most of which are in close proximity to the venues. Over 600 rooms are within walking distance to the Peoria Civic Center, with an additional 300 opening soon; similarly, the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex has over 400 hotel rooms within a mile of the complex.
Whether it be an untraditional sport like chess or America’s favorite pastime, the Peoria area knows sports. Currently, the Peoria Area hosts more Illinois high school and elementary state championship events than any other city in Illinois. Even the professionals play in Peoria; this year, the area is hosting the Professional Disc Golf Association’s World Championships.
With easy transit, top-notch facilities and accommodations, and an endless list of dining, shopping and attraction options - it’s easy to see why hosting an event in the Peoria Area is a home-run.
From initial planning to long after the last whistle blows, the Enjoy Peoria sales and services team works with organizers to plan a knockout event. Connecting planners to local resources, they can help find the perfect facility, negotiate hotel contracts, coordinate housing, plan off-site events and arrange local marketing initiatives. For more information, visit EnjoyPeoria.com/planners.
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