Outstanding Facilities: No Matter Where it Plays Out, the Venues are in Here | Sports Destination Management

Outstanding Facilities: No Matter Where it Plays Out, the Venues are in Here

Sep 13, 2018 | By: Mary Helen Sprecher

No matter what they’re looking for – diamonds, courts, rinks, fields, tracks, trails or anything else – all planners have one thing in common: the goal of finding excellent venues that provide an enjoyable and memorable experience for athletes. And let’s face it, when you’re embarking on a new site selection campaign, the choices are overwhelming.

In the following pages, Sports Destination Management has compiled some top-grade facilities across a wide range of disciplines for your consideration. Just as important, the staff at the local CVBs and sports commissions are ready to help answer your questions, arrange visits or examine your RFP. Just remember: you saw them here first.

California: Irvine
The centerpiece of the new Orange County Great Park Sports Complex in Irvine, California, is a state-of-the-art championship soccer stadium featuring seating for 2,500 spectators, locker rooms, training facilities, a box office and concessions.

The complex also includes 24 soccer fields with 13 lighted grass fields, three non-lighted grass fields, and eight lighted artificial turf fields which can also be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, cricket and football. In addition, the complex features a championship tennis court with seating for 132 spectators with 24 additional lighted courts and a championship volleyball court with seating for 178 spectators and four additional lighted courts. There is also a one-acre children’s play area that is perfect for smaller, less competitive players.

Once complete, the 194-acre Sports Park is planned to include baseball and softball stadiums with 10 ball diamonds, trails, a wildlife corridor and a golf course.

In addition, a 270,000-square-foot ice facility featuring three National Hockey League-standard ice rinks and one Olympic size, to include a 2.500-seat arena is scheduled to open in 2019.

The Sports Park is on track to become one of the largest public multi-sport facilities in California and one of the largest in the United States.

California: Redding
Visit Redding reminds event owners to “Play in Redding, because what’s on the OUTSIDE counts too.” Redding is an outdoor paradise located in the heart of Northern California. The Sacramento River runs right through the city, surrounded by mountains and lakes, boasting more than 300 days of sunshine per year. With beautiful scenery, no traffic and hassle-free accommodations, Redding sets the scene for a stress-free tournament.

Beyond the variety of natural attractions suitable for all ages, the Big League Dreams 30-plus acre sports complex offers five lighted, all-weather synthetic turf fields for year-round activity. All venues contain electronic scoreboards, lights and stadium seating to accommodate youth baseball, fast-pitch softball and adult slow pitch softball. Adding to that, a 20,000-square foot indoor field house hosts indoor soccer, hockey or basketball leagues and tournaments.

Local hotels offer nearly 3,000 rooms with prices averaging around $100 per night and no parking fees. The Redding Municipal Airport is only a few miles from the city center with direct flights daily from San Francisco or it’s an easy three-hour drive from the Bay Area. These features are part of why Redding’s small-town charm and excellent facilities combine with local hospitality to offer a world-class experience.

More information is available at Visit Redding.com.

California: Simi Valley
Skatelab Indoor Skatepark and Museum is a 30,000-square-foot indoor skatepark facility which features two indoor skateboarding rooms, a skateboarding museum and the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

Skatelab features two rooms which include but are not limited to multiple skateboard ramps, quarter pipes, a six-foot half pipe, a two-foot mini pipe, 12-foot-tall matrix ramp, fly box and a bowl with a 10-foot-deep end.

Skatelab also houses the world’s largest skateboard museum. The museum houses over 5,000 vintage skateboards, and other items of skateboard memorabilia. The Skateboarding Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the history of skateboarding and the influential figures who have significantly shaped skateboarding and its culture.

Skatelab not only brings in local skaters and their families, but people come from all over the world to either visit or compete at the indoor skatepark, making it the perfect host for skateboarding events.

Colorado: Colorado Springs
Sports planners searching for premier facilities to host world-class events can end their pursuit by selecting beautiful Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Olympic City USA is home to approximately 60 national and international sports organizations including more than 20 Olympic NGBs, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.

The region offers amazing backdrops and natural venues such as Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain and Garden of the Gods Park. Paired with state-of-the-art venues, fields and event centers, the area is an obvious choice for planners. Winning projects on the horizon include the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center and the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame.

Two highly anticipated, possible additions to this Rocky Mountain region include an outdoor downtown stadium that will become the permanent home of the Colorado Springs USL Pro Switchbacks and a Colorado College-based event center that will serve as the new home of the Colorado College ice hockey team.

At 6,035 feet above sea level, the area boasts mild temperatures and 300-plus days of sunshine a year. An array of activities and flexible venues mean plenty to do before and after the whistle blows. Sports planners can get their game plan at VisitCOS.com.

Florida: Lake County
Hickory Point Park is a 68-acre multi-use facility located northwest of Orlando in Tavares, Florida. The complex serves as the perfect host for water sports, fishing tournaments, beach volleyball and field sports.

Hickory Point is home to Hickory Point Beach Sand Volleyball Complex, Florida’s largest permanent sand volleyball complex with 21 lighted sand volleyball courts. Operated by the Florida Region of USA Volleyball, Hickory Point Beach hosts international, national, collegiate and amateur competitions year-round. In spring 2019, Lake County is scheduled to open the Athletics Center at Hickory Point Beach, a 4,000-square-foot support building with concessions, restrooms, locker rooms, meeting space and more that will serve as an added amenity for the growing calendar of events.

The Mike Stone Soccer Complex at Hickory Point Park is a six-field complex that can be utilized for soccer, lacrosse, rugby and more. Event organizers can enjoy “Real Florida, Real Close” hospitality at the award-winning Mission Inn Resort and Club, located three miles from the fields.

The Hickory Point boat ramp facility is the largest freshwater complex in Florida and is centrally located on the Harris Chain of Lakes, which hosts premier bass fishing tournaments such as FLW Tour, Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Tour, Bassmaster Southern Opens and the Bassmaster Team Championship.

Georgia: Columbus
The Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center has been steadily building a strong reputation as an excellent and incredibly unique indoor sports venue. The Trade Center offers 182,000 square feet of total space, including 54,982 square feet of bare-floor exhibit hall and a 21,670-square-foot carpeted ballroom. Within these spaces, the Trade Center has hosted gymnastics meets, boxing and wrestling matches, grappling tournaments, mixed martial arts tournaments and outdoor sportsman trade shows.

What makes the Trade Center so unique is its history and style. Very few venues in the country can claim 160 years of history preserved within original brickwork and architecture; massive pine heart beams buttressing the beautiful walls and ceilings high above; original Civil-War-era iron-forging machinery incorporated throughout the building, representing the rich and rustic history of the Columbus Iron Works. Although the venue was originally built in 1853 and was specially commissioned for use during the Civil War, the renovations have been plentiful and the technology is state-of-the-art.

Putting the icing on the cake – literally – is the Trade Center’s in-house catering team, led by world-class chef Chris Walters. The Trade Center can provide concessions and hospitality to suit an event’s every need. Event owners can “make history” at the Iron Works.

Georgia: Valdosta
At 250 acres, Freedom Park is one of the largest sports complexes in South Georgia. It features eight baseball/softball diamonds, 10 acres of soccer fields, a paved walking track, an 18-hole disc golf course, a dog park for large and small breeds, concession stand, restrooms and covered playground.

Recently, $14 million was earmarked for state-of-the art sports facility improvements and new construction in the Valdosta area. Freedom Park will be a primary beneficiary of this investment. A pod of five new fields is under construction now. Four of these will have 250-foot fences. The fifth field will be a 200-foot Miracle Field, featuring a custom-designed diamond with a cushioned, rubberized turf for children and adults with special needs.

Each year, Freedom Park proudly hosts the Spring Special Olympics for students from ages eight to 21. Participants compete in track and field, softball and various developmental sports. The event also features a special “Olympic Town,” where children can play carnival games, get their faces painted and enjoy inflatable slides between events.

For more information about Freedom Park or any of Valdosta, Georgia’s other unique sports venues, event owners and rights holders can contact Tanya Hamel at thamel@valdostatourism.com or 229-219-4405.

Illinois: Peoria
Located in Downtown Peoria, the Peoria Civic Center is the largest event facility in downstate Illinois. The facility has 900,000 square feet of space, ensuring its ability to accommodate events of all sizes.

The 11,330-seat Carver Arena is the home to Bradley Men’s Basketball and the Peoria Rivermen professional hockey team. For over 20 years, it has also been home to the Illinois High School Association Boys Basketball State Finals.

The 110,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall can hold a number of sporting events, including basketball, volleyball, wrestling, martial arts, cheerleading and gymnastics. High ceilings and portable bleachers make it easily accommodating. In addition, the Peoria Civic Center ballroom and Lexus Club can hold any size of reception functions.

Need catering? SAVOR…Peoria is ready to serve the food and beverage needs for any event. It caters everything from formal dinners to concessions.

An indoor skywalk attaches the Peoria Civic Center to two of downtown’s largest hotels, making it easily accessible all year. Overall, the state-of-the-art facilities, first-class catering and concessions, easy-access parking and a friendly staff all assist in making the Peoria Civic Center a premier indoor sporting facility in the Midwest.

Illinois: Rockford
Rockford’s latest premier multi-use indoor sports venue is the UW Health Sports Factory, which opened in June 2016. The facility spans 105,000 flexible square feet of space, complete with maple hardwood floors and a 35-foot ceiling. UWHSF features eight regulation-size basketball courts, each of which is equipped with its own scoreboards and shot clocks. The same courts convert in seconds to 16 volleyball courts with state-of-the-art netting systems that drop from the ceiling. Moreover, the facility offers five meeting rooms, a downtown riverfront boardwalk and patio entertainment spaces, more than 450 onsite parking spaces, Owly Oop Sports Pub (the upstairs full-service restaurant) and full downstairs concessions operated by the Owly Oop team.

Some of the signature events booked at the UW Health Sports Factory include the AAU Midwest Gymnastics Championships, AAU Girls Basketball National Championships, AAU Rockin’ Rockford Volleyball Regionals and the United States Quad Rugby Association National Championships.

Indiana: Fort Wayne
Providing adaptive sports and recreation for over two decades, the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone is a leading adaptive sports facility for children and adults with physical disabilities. The center offers both competitive and recreational opportunities, featuring a 75,000-square-foot fieldhouse, a 230-meter track, four collegiate basketball courts, a 9,100-square-foot warm water pool and 13,000 square feet of extra space for equipment storage, personal training, therapy facilities and exercise classes.

Amenities at the center include locker rooms, showers and restrooms specifically designed for people with disabilities, parking and community conference spaces. Recently designated as the seventh U.S. Paralympic training site, Turnstone continues to raise the bar by hosting national Paralympic events. The second-annual Endeavor Games was hosted at Turnstone again this year, where individual athletes ages eight to 69 competed in over nine sports.

Many athletes broke national records to qualify for other national tournaments. In July, Turnstone also hosted the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals 2018. Next year, Fort Wayne will be the first city in the United States to host the International Blind Sports Federation’s World Blind Games. Through its commitment to empowering those with disabilities, Turnstone is paving its way as a national leader in the adaptive sports arena.

Indiana: Westfield
It started in 2007 with a vision of what could be. Back then, Grand Park was an empty field in central Indiana in a city looking to build an economy. Today, Grand Park is a sports destination like no other. As one of the largest sports complexes in the country, this 400-plus-acre property is packed with fields and facilities capable of hosting both sporting and corporate events on local, regional and national levels. It includes 31 multi-purpose fields, 26 baseball/softball diamonds, 10-plus miles of paved trails and two indoor facilities.

One of those premier facilities is the 377,000-square-foot Events Center. Spanning wider than the St. Louis Arch stands tall, this state-of-the-art facility includes three indoor full-size synthetic fields, locker rooms, as well as office space and dining facilities. The campus is also home to the Pacer’s Athletic Center, an 88,000-square-foot basketball/volleyball facility and the new Pro X athlete training center.
Grand Park welcomes almost two million visitors a year and has attracted $500 million of economic development since opening just five years ago. With creativity, innovation, compassion and whole lot of energy, Westfield and Grand Park are only beginning to create what will be.

Missouri: Maryland Heights
St. Louis County Parks and Recreation opened Creve Coeur Soccer Complex in February 2018. The facility features 13 synthetic turf fields, including a standalone championship field with permanent seating for up to 500 spectators, and two smaller, youth-size Bermuda grass fields. A total of 11 of the 13 synthetic turf fields are lighted and all have spacious warm-up areas.

Beyond the fields, the complex affords visitors ample concessions, restrooms and lighted parking areas throughout the complex and highlights a new trail to Creve Coeur Lake & Park. There are also more than 1,200 paved parking spots with more than 300 overflow grass spots available.

Event merchandising vendors are accounted for with an expansive concrete area, dedicated Wi-Fi and electricity provided as tournament amenities. Additionally, dedicated fiber-based bandwidth is available for video streaming on the Championship Field along with a P.A. system.

In its first year, the complex will have been the site of more than 16 tournaments, drawing teams from all over the Midwest region. In addition to soccer, the complex is home to as lacrosse, flag football, Ultimate and more. Information and rental information can be found at www.ccparksoccer.com.

North Carolina: Fayetteville
A family-owned farm might not sound like an intimidating place to host an event but don’t be deceived. This venue is made up of more than 1,000 acres, complete with rich, dense forest, rolling hills and steep riverbanks that will test the ability of athletes and give them a sense of challenge and accomplishment. There’s also an impressive quarry nearly 200 feet deep – another obstacle in itself.
Top reasons to host an event at McCormick Farms:
• It’s a good chance to embrace a gritty version of Southern hospitality paired with so much room to roam
• This venue borders Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the world. The base borders the city of Fayetteville, which has a dominant role in the nation’s history
• Fayetteville has many cultural heritage trails for athletes to explore. With over 750 miles to explore, it’s a sure bet there will be something of interest.

In 2017 and 2018, the McCormick Farms hosted The Fort Bragg Spartan Sprint, which had thousands of participants.
For information on booking outdoor sports events at McCormick Farms, event owners and rights holders can contact Stephanie Decatur, sports sales manager at the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 910-483-5311 or sdecatur@visitfayettevillenc.com.

North Carolina: Rocky Mount
Rocky Mount Event Center is North Carolina’s newest destination for regional and national sports tournaments, competitions, special events, and more. Conveniently located in charming downtown Rocky Mount, the state-of-the-art, multi-use facility has easy access to restaurants, hotels and local attractions. The 165,000-square-foot SFM-managed Rocky Mount Event Center boasts impeccable space for sports events, and also features configurable meeting spaces for social or corporate events as well as in-house catering.

With 75,000 square feet of uninterrupted court space and four premium locker rooms, the facility will have the ability to put on sports events or tournaments complete with a championship arena that can accommodate over 4,000 spectators. The flexible, modern, modular space can be set up to host up to eight basketball or 16 volleyball games in addition to other various youth and amateur sports including wrestling, cheer, dance and gymnastics.

Spectators can view all the action from a second-story observation deck and mezzanine while enjoying a snack from the full concession stand. In between or after games, guests can also enjoy a unique feature of Rocky Mount Event Center: Game Day Adventure & Arcade. The 15,000-square-foot family entertainment center will include themed Clip ‘n Climb climbing walls, an aerial ropes course, a Ballocity soft play arena, full redemption arcade and four designated party rooms. Event owners and rights holders are urged to contact the Rocky Mount Event Center team to book their next event.

Oklahoma: Broken Arrow
Nienhuis Park Sports Complex is located on a 109-acre site, home to Nienhuis Park Community Center, Youth Football/Lacrosse Complex, Nienhuis Aquatic Facility, Skate Park, Memorial Rose Garden, nine-hole disc golf course, two tennis courts, outdoor basketball court, stocked ponds, walking trails and Fire Station No. 6. Nienhuis Park Football/Lacrosse fields are available for team, tournament and game rentals.

The Football/Lacrosse Complex includes:
• Two full-size synthetic turf stadium fields, which include scoreboards, press boxes, P.A. system as well as stadium seating for both home and away teams with handicap accessibility on each
• Two full-size grass stadium fields, which include scoreboards, press boxes, P.A. system as well as stadium seating for both home and away teams with handicap accessibility on each
• Four 80 x 30-yard grass fields (each roughly convertible to full-size football). These fields are typically used for practices, overflow tournament and game fields, family outings/parties and smaller field events.
• The four full-size field stadium complex includes private fencing for closed (ticketed) events, concessions and restrooms
• Large event parking with overflow accessibility.

For more information about Nienhuis Park Sports Complex, event owners and rights holders can call 918-251-1015. For fun family activities, they can call the Broken Arrow Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at 866-503-7081 or they can check VisitBrokenArrowOK.com.

Pennsylvania: Butler County
The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex is a large, multi-functional venue attracting thousands of visitors nationwide. The facility hosts many hockey tournaments that bring in a large volume of teams, families and spectators. This facility features learn-to-play programs, hockey clinics, open and community skates, youth hockey programs, camps and more.

Located in Cranberry Township, just 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh, UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex provides easy access to the Pittsburgh International Airport, Butler County Airport, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and other major interstates.

The Complex is the official practice facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins and home to the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey program. The complex is 185,000 square feet and includes two sheets of ice, and offers 1,333 seats. Top-notch training is available with its world class staff of hockey professionals including former NHL players and current NHL coaches. Those interested can visit its website at www.upmclemieuxsportscomplex.com to learn more.

With an abundance of versatile sporting venues, Butler County, Pennsylvania, has become a premier sports destination, offering a variety of services, including site selection, logistics, accommodations and more.

More information is available from the website, www.SportsinButlerCounty.com, or by contacting Jack Cohen at Jack@VisitButlerCounty.com.

Pennsylvania: Chester County
Chester County’s Brandywine Valley is the perfect location for sporting events. Nestled in southeastern Pennsylvania, minutes from northern Delaware and the Philadelphia International Airport, the region is easily accessible by the Mid-Atlantic region thanks to major rail lines and interstate highways.

Accommodations of over 5,000 comfortable hotel rooms await participants and visitors, along with group-friendly dining options and family-friendly entertainment attractions including the expansive grounds at Longwood Gardens, and historically charming Downtown West Chester.

A variety of state-of-the-art facilities and well-maintained fields such as United Sports Complex, an indoor/outdoor multiple-use sports facility, and Ice Line Quad Rinks ice arena all underwent multi-million dollar upgrades in 2018. These upgrades include:
Ice Line:
• 175-seat, full-service restaurant overlooking ice rink 4
• New locker rooms
• Office space
• Meeting rooms
• State-of-the-art green roof

United Sports:
• Resurfaced championship stadium turf field
• Two upgraded turf fields with lights
• A new 3,000-square-foot Indoor Kids zone
• Renovated indoor bathrooms
• A paved parking project to increase onsite parking spots

When planning the next tournament or sporting event, the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau recommends planners make them their call. The staff offers complete meeting and event planning services, as well as an online hotel reservation system. More information is available at BrandywineValley.com/Sports.

Pennsylvania: Wilkes-Barre Township, Luzerne County
Mohegan Sun Arena is a world-class venue located in the heart of Northeast Pennsylvania. Conveniently located off Interstate 81 and just minutes from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Arena is the perfect setting for tournaments, camps and exhibitions, with 7,000-plus seats, in-house security, high-speed Internet, catering and concessions.

The Arena has hosted events including the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Tournament twice in the last 10 years. Other events that can be hosted are hockey, basketball, cheerleading and gymnastics. In addition to the 17,000-square-foot performance space on the Event Level, there are 11 meeting rooms/locker rooms and an additional 5,000 square feet of meeting space. On the Concourse Level, there is an additional 7,000 square feet of space, plenty of restrooms and concession stands.

Lodging is plentiful around the Arena, with over 4,000 hotel rooms within 20 minutes. Numerous restaurants surround the Arena area as well as major shopping areas, including the Wyoming Valley Mall and the Arena Hub Complex. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is 15 minutes from the Arena and offers service by several major airlines. Attendees at events held at the Arena have consistently remarked about the hospitality of the staff and the staff of Visit Luzerne County. More information is available from MoheganSunArenapa.com and visitluzernecounty.com.

Pennsylvania: Pocono Mountains
Looking for the perfect destination to hold the next athletic event, tournament or competition? Look no further than the Pocono Mountains. The Pocono Mountains region has become a mecca for indoor and outdoor sports. Over the last few years, over 60 event producers selected the Pocono Mountains as their arena.

Recent additions to the Pocono Mountains in the convention space provides event planners more options for sports tournaments, gymnastics, dance and cheer competitions. The region is a 90-minute drive from the major metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia, making it easily accessible from I-80, I-84, I-476, I-81 and I-78.

To learn more about how the Poconos can accommodate any sporting events for 2018 and beyond, planners may visit PoconoMountains.com, contact the Pocono Mountains CVB Sales Team at 800-722-9199 or submit a request for a site visit.

Pennsylvania: Valley Forge
The Proving Grounds is the premier Mid-Atlantic multi-sport tournament complex located in Conshohocken, in the heart of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. With outdoor fields, the facility features lighted, competition-level synthetic turf fields, striped for men’s and women’s lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.

Home to the Villanova women’s field hockey team, which plays on an FIH water-based field, the Proving Grounds also has a 10,000-square-foot indoor turf facility with netting, a scoreboard and movable batting tunnels suitable for all sports.

By the end of 2018, the facility will have five full fields, plus the Villanova field.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship Regional Championship Series Mid-Atlantic Region will also take place November 29 through December 2 at the Proving Grounds. Age divisions include 7U to 14U in tackle football, and the winning team of each age group for the regional moves on to the World Championship Game, or the “Little League World Series” of youth football, played in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame from December 13 through 16, 2018. The first year was held in 2017 with eight locations, and it has grown to 12 in 2018, and will expand up to 32 in 2019.

Texas: Beaumont
Ford Park is the premier sports, entertainment and convention destination of Southeast Texas. Conveniently located in Beaumont, Texas, on Interstate Highway 10 between Houston and Lake Charles, this versatile event center features five world-class facilities on 221 acres including an arena, pavilion, exhibit hall, midway and fields.

Ford Fields consists of 12 championship-caliber youth baseball/softball fields along with all-weather turf infields. The fields feature covered bleacher seating with foul ball netting over all spectator areas as well as one centralized gate with full-service concessions and restrooms. Ford Fields also includes designated team warm-up areas and 1,000 well-lighted onsite paved parking spots.

Whether a team is visiting for a week or just a weekend, the destination offers over 3,500 guest rooms for comfortable and friendly accommodations along with a variety of things to do between games, and a host of delicious dining options to satisfy any palate.

Texas: Odessa
Ratliff Stadium represents Odessa’s knack for high school football and is a notable attraction for “Friday Night Lights” fans. Roaring fans from Odessa and beyond fill 20,000 seats every Friday night. Teams from across the nation travel to West Texas for the experience of a lifetime. Ratliff Stadium is home to the Odessa High Bronchos and the Permian High Panthers. It has been owned and operated by the Ector County Independent School District since 1981. The stadium is used for local football and soccer games as well as regional and state playoffs, and recently, for our first college football team, the UT Permian Basin Falcons.

Additionally, UT Permian Basin Park is the home of dozens of fields in Odessa. The park hosts eight lighted softball fields; four lighted women’s softball fields; seven soccer fields; six lighted tennis courts; two lighted Little League Baseball fields; courts for sand volleyball, as well as basketball and tennis courts.

The Odessa CVB says it welcomes sports planners, teams and fans with open arms for the experience they’ve been seeking. Odessa has the will to win, and a stern game face to make the next big sports venue unforgettable. Those interested can find out more about Odessa’s facilities and recreational activities by visiting odessacvb.com or calling 432-333-7890. Odessa’s CVB sports specialist, Melissa Aguirre stands ready to knock the next big event straight out of the park.

Texas: Portland
Portland, Texas, unveiled two sports complexes in October 2017. The openings came less than a year after the city broke ground on its new ball parks. They also came less than six weeks after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast. Portland’s tagline is “The Land of Possibilities,” and city leaders were not going to let a Category 4 hurricane change that.

The facilities experienced some damage, so the city and Hellas Construction, which built the new parks, got to work. Within weeks, repairs and final construction were completed. Portland’s sports fields were ready for business.

Municipal Park has five state-of-the-art baseball fields, which are also suitable for softball and soccer. The Sports Complex, located about a mile from Municipal Park, offers four softball fields, also suitable for baseball and soccer. The fields feature artificial turf, dugouts, sports lighting, covered spectator seating, dual-lane batting cages and scoreboards.

A few months after Harvey, Portland, Texas, is back to normal. Its sports complexes are teeming with young athletes on some of the best sports fields in Texas. This spring, Portland’s venues were named Project of the Year by the Synthetic Field Council. It was quite an honor for the city and quite a comeback.

For details, visit PlayPortlandTexas.com or call 361-777-4651.

Texas: Round Rock
Round Rock carries the title of Sports Capital of Texas, and the new Round Rock Multipurpose Complex boosts the city’s athletic reputation even more. The Round Rock Multipurpose Complex offers 10 versatile outdoor fields on 60 acres of open space to accommodate all varieties of sports lovers.

Players love the new landmark facility that provides configurations for every outdoor sport including rugby, football, soccer, Ultimate and more. Located in Old Settlers Park, the complex offers 10 fields: four natural grass multi-purpose fields, one natural grass championship field, four synthetic turf multi-purpose fields, and one synthetic turf championship field.

Spectators appreciate official Musco sports lighting on all 10 fields at night, permanent seating with shade structures during the day, and over 900 parking spaces for convenient access. The Round Rock Multipurpose Complex also provides an all-star view from the clubhouse, with meeting rooms overlooking the fields.

Round Rock’s staff believes every player, fan and family will find something to love at the new Round Rock Multipurpose Complex. Additional amenities include playgrounds, plazas, pavilions and more.

More information is available at SportsCapitalofTexas.com or from Nancy Yawn at nyawn@roundrocktexas.gov or 512-218-7094.

Wyoming: Gillette
State-of-the-art indoor and outdoor venues, top-notch accommodations, a welcoming community and unique group tours and activities await sports event planners and their participants in Gillette, Wyoming.

Yes, Gillette, a city of over 17,000 residents in northeast Wyoming (not far from Devils Tower National Monument) has made huge investments into its sports facilities and venues within the county and has quietly become the premier sports tournaments/events destination in Wyoming and the region.

Where else can participants compete in amazing venues and then go touch a live buffalo at a working buffalo ranch or walk up and touch the nation’s first national monument or tour some of the world’s largest surface coal mines that supply 30 percent of the nation’s coal?

Access is surprisingly easy. Gillette is located on I-90, the main route between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, just an hour’s drive to/from Devils Tower. Plus, Gillette-Campbell County Airport offers two daily jet flights to and from Denver, so planners as well as participants can get in and out very easily.

To find out more, planners can contact sports sales manager Terry Sjolin at 307-686-0040, terry@VisitGilletteWright.com or check out VisitGillette.com. SDM

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