Lewisville, Texas: The Seamless Sports Experience
13 Nov, 2013By: Mary Helen Sprecher
The grand slam in baseball or softball. The quick goal in soccer. Some things are just better because they happen fast.
In Lewisville, Texas, that philosophy has been taken to the next level. Sports planners who want to bring an event to Lewisville will find their questions answered quickly, easily and with no hassle.
“We have a great website, www.visitlewisville.com,” says Carlos Hernandez, who works in sports/tourism sales with the City of Lewisville. “Anyone who is interested in finding out about what is going on in the city and what we have available can use our site, which lists all the facilities. Event rights holders can find out immediately if we will be able to host an event based on what we have. We’ve tried to make it as streamlined as possible.”
In fact, the site lists not just all the facilities but their locations and specs. For example, by clicking on the link for Bakersfield Complex, a planner can learn the site has nine youth soccer fields as well as eight youth baseball fields, and that all these fields have lights for night play.
“We like to think of ourselves as a one-stop-shop,” notes Hernandez, “but of course we’re also here to answer any questions people may have.”
Want to take that easy-access philosophy a step further? Lewisville has an online form planners can use to submit their request for proposal – or if the RFP is already prepared, there is a separate e-mail address they can send it to for a quick response.
Don’t get the idea that Lewisville is all electronic, though. According to Hernandez, the staff loves sporting events and enjoys being involved.
“We’re very much hands-on,” he notes. “This is what we love to do.”
Fields for Dreams
Lewisville has a lot to recommend itself, but its sports fields, all natural grass, are second to none.
“One of the things we host here the most is big soccer events,” notes Hernandez, “and it’s because our city leaders understand the importance of sports tourism. They decided we needed more sports complexes to host tournaments.”
Approximately four years ago, Lewisville opened its flagship sports facility, Toyota Lewisville Railroad Park, which has played host to numerous events.
Railroad Park features 250 acres of top-quality recreational facilities including eight full-size soccer fields, four football fields, four baseball fields (all fields have lighting and the space is flexible enough to be adjusted for different levels of play), three concession stands with restrooms, a dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs, one of the largest public skateparks in North Texas, walking paths and three man-made lakes.
“Everything at the park is self-contained,” Hernandez notes proudly. “It’s a great facility. All combined, the Lewisville area has a total of 34 fields.”
In addition to the long list of facilities within its city limits, Lewisville has partnered with other nearby areas when more facilities are called for, such as in the cases of very large events. In these cases, areas such as The Colony, Flower Mound and Highland Village will come into play. (Facilities in these areas are also listed on Lewisville’s website, making it easy for planners to learn about expanded options). All venues have wi-fi and all have ample parking facilities.
A Great Place to Cast Off
Lewisville also boasts some great fishing. Lake Park, for example, is located along the Lewsiville Lake shoreline and encompasses more than 662 acres. It is operated by the city on property leased from the Army Corps of Engineers and includes (in addition to a golf course and athletic facilities) some outstanding bass fishing. In fact, the lake has hosted multiple bass tournaments. Facilities include campgrounds, beaches, docks, boat ramps and picnic areas. In addition, the area is home to a variety of wildlife, and is a favorite of bird-watchers.
The Great Indoors
Lewisville also boasts some outstanding indoor facilities, all of which are available to planners of applicable events.
The Lewisville Convention Center is located minutes from DFW on State Highway 121 at Interstate 35-East. The 17,000 square foot center is part of the new Hilton Garden Inn. The Frederick P. Herring Recreation Center includes a fitness center, two basketball courts with tile floors, four racquetball courts and six classrooms as well as space for socializing. The MAC (Multiple Athletic Complex) offers four NBA-size hardwood basketball courts and seven regulation volleyball courts, all with hardwood playing surfaces.
Other facilities found in adjacent areas include the Carrollton-based IAD (Integrated Athletic Development) complex, which offers numerous basketball and futsal courts.
Lewisville is served by Dallas Fort Worth International Airport which, at only 10 minutes away, offers unparalleled access. Lewisville (which is roughly midpoint between Dallas and Fort Worth) itself has more than two dozen hotels in a variety of price points, none more than 2-1/2 miles from the sports facilities. Within that group, the Vista Ridge cluster of properties includes nine hotels plus a shopping mall.
“We have more than 2,400 hotel rooms,” says Hernandez, “all surrounded by restaurants. We also have movies and attractions. We really are an ideal sports destination.”
Tourism options also abound. “If you want to visit downtown Dallas, you can,” says Hernandez. “You just use our light rail and you’re there in 45 minutes. If people want to see the John F. Kennedy Book Depository or something else while they’re here, they can do that.”
Those who want to maintain their competitive streak off the field can do that as well.
“Oh, we have golf, video games, bowling, amusement and water parks, everything in the area,” says Hernandez. “There’s always something to do here.”
The weather provides an ideal platform for sports. According to Hernandez, the average temperatures are in the high 80s from the first week of June to the second week in September. Winters are mild without the nuisance of snow and ice. In addition, the humidity stays low all year long – something not every Texas area can claim.
Lewisville is also a haven for cultural events. The MCL Grand, a multi-purpose theater, offers Broadway-caliber musicals and plays as well as concerts, presented by local and traveling groups. There is also ballet, chorale performances, a symphony and more. The area hosts multiple festivals throughout the year as well.
Helping Planners Make Events Happen
Lewisville can provide rebate grants to qualifying sports events, and is available to assist planners in bringing their events to town. The city has hosted receptions for teams and athletes, and has a core group of volunteers who can help in advance of, or onsite at, events.
“We want everything to go as smoothly as possible, and I think we do that,” Hernandez says. “We get a lot of return visits. For example, we are working with a regional tournament, with 34 teams coming in from Oklahoma. They have already asked about dates for next year.”
Lewisville also is home to numerous sports clubs, and those can often be found on the local fields. Those children have grown up playing for schools, rec teams and clubs, and moved on to college and adult teams – sometimes even the pro market. The local soccer association, adds Hernandez, is one of the largest in the Southwest region, and continues to thrive in the sports-centric climate that Lewisville provides.
At the heart of it all, Lewisville offers a Texas-sized array of amenities to its home and visiting teams. The city likes to roll out the red carpet for those visitors and keep them coming back. It offers a warm welcome, excellent sports facilities, amenable weather and fun amenities.
“This is just a great place to come and play,” says Hernandez.
To learn more about Lewisville and what it can offer, go to www.visitlewisville.com or call 972-219-3713.