Linda Dobel 0000-00-00 00:00:00
North America's Finest Sports Facilities JUST AS THE PRODUCTIVITY OF OFFICE WORKERS is affected by their environment, the achievement of sports participants can be affected by the environment in which they perform. That puts a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of sports event planners who endeavor to find the finest facility for each event's sports participants and their audience. As sports event planners well know, it 's an understatement 10 say that North America offers a wealth of sports-oriented facilities. The challenge comes in sorting through all of them to find a venue that is not only outstanding in its own right, but is convenient, has great surrounding amenities and, most importantly, is specifically designed to accommodate a particular sport. To help chisel down the choices, Sports Destination Management assembled this ensemble of some of the finest sports facilities North America has 10 offer from north LO south and east to west- with the hope that it makes the job a little easier for event planners. Bonus; they cater to an incredible variety of sports. ABERDEEN (HARFORD COUNTY), MARYLAND Ripken Stadium With the most recognized name in baseball, Ripken Stadium, located in Cal Ripken, Jr.'s home town of Aberdeen, Maryland, at Exit 85 on 1-95, offers baseball the Ripken Way. Ripken Baseball Academy offers \\,eek.long training camps And competitions for youth from all over the nation. During August, Ripken Stadium is "Where the World Comes to Play" when it hosts the Babe Ruth League's Cal Ripken World Series. Ripken Stadium is also home to the Class A affiliate baseball team of the Baltimore Orioles, the Aberdeen lronBirds, who will celebrate their 10-year anniversary in 2012. The IronBirds' baseball games are a very popular attraction in Harford County with yearly attendance near 350,000. The complex features a Kids Zone, and the Party Deck and the Party Pavilion are popular for group entertainment.Themed baseball events with specialty pricing, fireworks nights and Baseball and Crabs on the Deck are just some of the popular ways to enjoy Ripken Stadium. The Aberdeen complex also includes several smaller fields for local youth sports leagues, as well as an adjacent Marriott Hotel. With on-site catering and meeting facilities, Ripken Stadium is also a popular venue for corporate meetings, family gatherings and weddings.For more information, see www.ripken stadium.com. ABILENE, TEXAS Moody Coliseum Sports event planners searching for a facility that offers versatility will be happy to learn about Moody Coliseum in Abilene, Texas, a multi-use 53,989 sq.ft. Facility that stands at the center of Abilene Christian University. This truly cavernous Arena seats 4,600 people with the potential to expand capacity to more than 5,500 with temporary seating. Moody's ceiling is 65 feel high, allowing the coliseum to host cheerleading competitions as well as volleyball, basketball and the "Players in Progress" annual festival of approximately 350 youth basketball players who come to Moody's to perfect their skills. In addition to being an excellent place to play, Abilene is a great place to stay. The facility is minutes from 3,300 hotel rooms, many restaurants and great atrractions. Moody Coliseum is off of )- 20, making transportation convenient. Abilene is centrally located., just 150 miles west of the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex. With its four auxiliary gyms, Moody can host multiple games under one roof at the same time. Moody offers state-of the art amenities and new additions, including indoor walking/jogging track, upgraded dressing rooms, weight room and swimming pools. Learn how the Abilene CVB can assist you with facility needs and services at www.abilene visitors.com/sports or 800-727-7704. COVINGTON (ALLEGHANY HIGHLANDS), VIRGINIA Jackson River Sports Complex The Jackson River Sports Complex, just off l-64 in Western Virginia, affords a first-class facility for a multitude of events. The sports complex totals 75 acres, with 50 developed acres offering five lighted multi-use athletic fields, press box, lighted tennis courts, basketball Courts, 20 acres for field sports (soccer, flag football), walking area, restrooms, gazebo, covered shelters with electricity, concession areas, playgrounds, ample parking and the River Rock Amphitheatre. Plus, the complex offers bleacher and festival seating, allowing fans to feel like they are part of the action. Not only is the Jackson River Sports Complex outstanding, but the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia is a welcoming place for sporting events. Amid its beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, streams and miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, event-goers will fmd affordable accommodations. The smalltown charm of the Alleghany Highlands has earned the area a great reputation for building relationships from the planning stages through the successful completion of events. In fact, according to Allen Dressler, director of Covington Parks & Recreation, "The great things we hear about our facility all the time are the family atmosphere, cleanliness of the facility and the dedication of our staff." For information, call 1-888-430-5786. BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Barber Motorsports Park It's one thing to hear the Barber Motorsports Park described, but altogether another to lay eyes on it. Beautiful, magnificent, thrilling, artistic, pure, challenging- all these descriptions and more come to mind once you've actually seen the racing park. The brainchild of Birmingham's George Barber, the park was designed to be the finest road racing course in the country. Nestled in the rolling hills just outside Birmingham, Alabama, the Barber racing track is a 2.3-mile safe yet aggressive circuit. The 45-foot-wide track consists of 16 turns, fully paved tiered paddock and 80 feet of elevation change.That's all well and good for the racers, of course, but Barber also demanded the circuit Be friendly to spectators and welcoming to families. So today, perfectly manicured and sculpted landscape with wooded surroundings invite spectators to pick a spot and set out a blanket or folding chairs. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum could well have been just a small complement to the racing track. Instead it holds its own, presenting the largest collection of vintage motorcycles and cars in the world. With more than 800 vehicles displayed on four floors, this is a showplace of the awesome variety. For more information, see www.birminghamaJ.org. BOYDS (MONTGOMERY COUNTY), MARYLAND Maryland SoccerPlex Searching for a premier soccer facility? In October 2000, the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Mal)'land, opened with 19 full-size irrigated soccer fields. Each field measures 115 x 75 yards and one side of each field has a berm ideal for spectator seating. The fields are organized in clusters of four or five fields with parking and a comfort station for each cluster. A total of 75 parking spaces per field helps ensure that teams have ample parking. One of the attractions of the complex is the Championship Stadium, which has seating for 3.200 spectators. The stadium sits in a natural bowl with a paved., lit plaza surrounding it. The field has a sandbased under-drain construction that moves an average of eight inches of water an hour. The Musco lighting is broadcast quality and the field has Kwik Goal Pro Premier World Competition Goals. The Malryland SoccerPlex we lcomes 600,000-plus visitors a year. The majority of visitors come from the local soccer clubs and leagues that play more than 4,500 matches at the complex annually.However, teams from all over the country come here to some of the most competitive youth soccer tournaments in the country. For more information, see www.visitmontgomel).com. CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI Show Me Center If you're a sports event planner looking for an outstanding mUlti-purpose facility capable of hosting world-class spons events, concens, family entertainment, banquets and conventions, investigate the Show Me Center, located at 1333 North Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It not only serves as the home court for Southeast Missouri State University's Redhawks men's and women's basketball teams, but will also be hosting the Missouri State High School Activities Assoc iation 's high school volleyball championships for the next four years. Thanks to its unique design, the Show Me Center is versatile enough to stage multiple events simultaneously, and flexible enough to host an indoor rodeo one evening and a soccer tournament the next.The Show Me Center has earned a national reputation for service and flexibility, winning the Facility and Event Management "Prime Site Award" every year since 1997. In addition to being a multi-purpose sports venue conveniently located halfWay between SI. Louis and Memphis with easy access by highway on Interstate 55 and by air through the Cape Girardeau Regional airport, the Show Me Center is a sports destination offering a highly service-oriented staff to assist in planning and staging your next event. Get more information at www.showmecenter.biz or 573-651-2297. CLAY COUNTY, FLORIDA Sometimes the fmest sports facility is not found in a physical structure, but in nature itself. If the great outdoors is the arena you envision as the finest facility for your next sports Event, consider all the options of Clay County, Florida. It offers a diverse array of natural and recreational resources for passive and active recreation and the enjoyment of the outdoors. Located in Northeast, Florida, Clay County attracts numerous Sporting and entertainment events every year,Including the North Florida Hunter Jumper Winter Series, Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival and the Blue Ribbon Agricultural Fair, along with commemorative activities and sporting competitions. Clay County's natural resources include the scenic S1. Johns River, lakes, state And county parks, marinas and boat launches, youth sports facilities and a segment of the statewide off-road trail system. The county's northern border is shared with Duval County, home to the City of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Internalional Airport can be reached within 30 minutes as can the region 'S beautiful beaches. Interstate 295 heading toward Sl. Augustine or Daytona Beach offers travelers a wide range of hotel accommodations, restaurants and shops in the Orange Park area. See the Visitor's Guide at \vww.explore clay.com and learn more at www.clay countygov.com. EAST MEADOW (LONG ISLAND), NEWVORK Nassau County Aquatic Center Built in 1998 for the International Goodwill Games, the Nassau County Aquatic Center located in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York, is widely recognized as one of the fmest swimming facilities in the U.S. This Long Island based aquatic center has hosted various local, state, regional, national and international swimming and diving competitions drawing luminaries such as eight-time gold medali st Michael Phelps. The 80,OOO-sq.-ft. center includes a 'stretch' 50-meter competition pool that is 68 meters long with three movable bulkheads. The pool setup varies from day to day, with 50.meter, 25.yard and/or 25 - meter lap lanes. It also features a diving well with a I O-meter competition diving tower (the only one in the New York Metropolitan area) and one-and three-meter springboards. Amenities located in the facility include a timing room, press room, athletic training room, locker rooms, showers, substance testing room, concession area and weight-lifting rooms overlooking the pool. In 2012, the Nassau County Aquatic Center will go through major renovations To enhance the outside of the facility.This includes removing and replacing the roof, a new heating, ventilation and airconditioning system in the pool area, new lighting and a new filter system. For more information, see www.discover 10ngisland.comlsports. ELGIN, ILLINOIS The Elgin Sports Complex What could be more adrenaline-pumping than bringing a sports event to a venue that is surrounded by other sports facilities? What makes The Elgin Sports Complex in Elgin, Illinois, a premier venue is the multitude of nearby sports facilities that combined can acconunodate over 100 different types of competitions. The Elgin Sports Complex itself has 10 lighted softball field s, 10 full-size soccer fields, two sand volleyball courts and Chicago's premiere BMX track all located right next to The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course. The Elgin Sports Complex has hosted events such as the 20 II Special Olympics Softball Regional Championship, Northern Illinois Soccer League Tournament, Sparks Pumpkin Fest and 2011 Senior Softball Eastern National Championships. The sports complex is conveniently located 45 minutes from downtown Chicago as well as O'Hare International and Chicago Midway Airports, making it readily accessible to local, national and international tournaments alike. Athletes will find more than 1,200 affordable hotel rooms, a wide variety of restaurants and one-of-a-kind attractions for players, families and guests 10 enjoy. For more information, see www.enjoyelgin.com. EUGENE, OREGON Matthew Knight Arena, University of Oregon The innovative 405,(H)()-sq.-fi. Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus is ushering in a new chapter Of sports for the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region. The $200 million arena, home ofPac- 12 Oregon basketball and volleyball , is also setting the stage for other "sports and exhibitions. The NlK.E Clash of Champions, which brought tennis greats Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova towwn, Is just one example of the facility's ability to host a range of high caliber sporting events. The arena's 6,944-sq-fl. Portable floor is also responsible for the venue's ongoing transformations, providing environments to host everything from ice skating To professional bull riding. A high-definition scoreboard and video board, one of the largest among college arenas, is among the facility's stale-of-the art amenities.Up to 12,364 seats accommodate sports fans and increased seating is available for concerts, conventions and other events. Arena visitors will enjoy the plentiful lodging and restaurant options, within walking distance, as well as the city's efficient transportation system. Constructed as a completely accessible venue, The arena is awaiting results of its pending status as a LEED~ Gold-certified facility, demonstrating acommitment to be both inc lusive and sustainable. For more information, visit www.MatthewKnightArena or www.EugeneCascadesCoast.org. FARGO·MOORHEAD, NORTH DAKOTA Scheels Arena and FARGOOOME Fargo-Moorhead's newest indoor facility is the Scheen ls Arena (formerly the Urban Plains Center) located in south· west Fargo, North Dakota. This 5,000. Seat arena was built in 2008 and is home to the USHL hockey team, the Fargo Force. This flexible venue is also home to Fargo high school hockey and most recently hosted the 20 11 USA Curling National Championships. The venue isn't limited to simply ice events either. Many other special events ranging from live concerts, roller derbies and other extreme sports like BMX racing have taken place at Scheels Arena. Another indoor venue in Fargo.Moor. head includes the FARGO DOME, a 466,000· sq.-ft. facility with seating for over 19,000 people. It hosts the annual USA Wrestling tournament and the Runable on the Red Wrestling Championships which are two of the largest wrestling events in the world. It also plays a central role in the annual Fargo Mamthon which was named one of the nation's best running events and brings more than 20,000 runners to the F·M area annually. Find out more at www.fargomoorhead.org. FRISCO, TEXAS Dr Pepper StarCenter With two NHL·sized sheets of ice and the ability to cover the ice for 17,000·sq.ft. of non-skating related Events, the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas, is ready for your ice hockey, figure skating, wrestling, gymnastics, basketball, roller hockey, and opening ceremony events. This multi-use facility is home to the NHL Dallas Stars corporate office, serves as the official practice facility for the Stars, and is home to both the National Champion Texas Tornado Junior A hockey and the Texas Legends D League teams. The Arena includes a full range of concessions, locker rooms, including separate referee's and women '5 locker rooms, loading dock and private club area for up to 250 people and seats between 5,000-6,000 depending on configuration. Additionally, the arena has 12 executive suites, full media, sound and show capabilities, provides turnkey operations including ticketing, sales and marketing, and has two parking garages for a total of 2,200 spaces. A primary sports destinations for America's rising stars, Frisco offers firstclass sports venues with access to pro-Fessional fields, sports-friendly hotels and plenty to do after the game. Located just 20 minutes north of Dallas, Frisco is convenient to both DFW and Love Field Airports. Find out more at www.visit frisco .com! GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN Archery Center The construction plans for a 9,500-sq.ft. Olympic-style archery center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are progressing nicely.This new facility will not only be home to the local archery committee and their tournaments, but will also be a target venue for state, regional and national competitions. The center will feature an indoor shooting bay with 24 lanes where Archers can shoot up to 9Om, one of the largest ranges in the world. The center 's outdoor landscape will feature three heated shooting booths, also with a 90m range, and a 3D 30-station archery area as well. In addition, the facility will provide a storage area, equipment room and classroom for educational purposes. The targeted completion of the center is not 100 far away- summer 2012- so event planners looking for an exceptional archery facility will do well to keep Grand Rapids, Michigan's new center on their radar. For more infonnation, call the West Michigan Sports Commission at 616-233- 356 1. INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI Independence Events Center If a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose, indoor, entertainment and sports venue featuring an arena with 5,800 fixed seats, 25 first-class suites and more than 2,200 free parking spaces will fit the needs of your next sporting event,Missouri, in the state's Eastern Jackson County. Celebrating its second anniversary this November, it has already hosted headliners including Martina McBride, Bruno Mars, Alice Cooper, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Rogers and RB. King, all of whom performed to thousands at the Events Center. The facility is home to two professional sports franchises. The Missouri Mavericks, awarded 2011 Franchise of the Year by the Central Hockey League, play 32 regular season games at the Events Center, and the Missouri Comets, Major Indoor Soccer League, play 12 regular season games there. Located on the Southwest side of the Independence Events Center, the Centerpoint Community Ice serves as the practice facility for the Missouri Mavericks and a permanent sheet of ice dedicated to developing sports, recreation and ice· related activities for Independence residents and the surrounding communities. The facility is located off of Interstate 70, Highway 40 and Missouri 291. Learn more at www.independenceeventscenter.com. KANKAKEE COUNTY, ILLINOIS Hidden Cove Sportsplex The Midwest boasts a sports destination that sports event planners and parents are raving about for its versatility and ideal location. Hidden Cove Sportsplex is a family and sports entertainment center located in Kankakee County, Illinois, just an hour south of Chicago. The Sponsplex has hosted basketball , volleyball , wrestling, gymnastics, trade shows, clinics, concerts and team-building activities. The facility features a 47,000-sqal multipurpose gymnasium, indoor turf, con· cession stands and entertainment. The indoor turf is idea l for soccer, football leagues, tee-ball, dodge.ball, Ultimate Frisbee, sports drills and more. Drop. Down nets convert the turf arena into two indoor baiting cages. Other indoor entertainment includes an arcade, bumper cars, mini·bowling lanes, inflatable bounce houses, and a full·service pizza restaurant.Outdoor entertainment is also available for families and athletes. Outdoor activities include go-karts, two miniature golf courses, paintball course, giant slide and batting cages. The Sportsplex is located a half-mile off of Interstate 57 within close walking distance 10 four hotels, Northfield Square Mall, Movies 10 and multiple restaurants. For more information on Hidden Cove Sportsplex, additional sports facili ties and local attractions, contact the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.VisitKankakeeCounty.com or 800- 747-4837. LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN Veteran's Memorial Football Field and Track and Field Complex La Crosse, Wisconsin is a spectacular location for sporting events in every sea· son of the year. The recently constructed Veteran 's Memorial Football Field and Track and Field Complex at UW·La Crosse uniquely features 10 track lanes for added participation. The La Crosse area offers four sheets of ice for hockey and figure skating com· petitions. Green Island Ice Arena also has dedicated curling lanes for competition. Logger's Field is home 10 a minor league baseball team, and with two uni· versity ball fields and several high school and municipal fields, La Crosse is the Destination for baseball and softball tournaments. The newly-renovated Convention Center and Arena is host to the 2012 NCAA O-IJI National Wrestling Championships and hosts several sporting events including pre-season NBA games. Soccer continues to grow, and La Crosse has taken notice. It currently hosts The Gundersen Cup, which consists of more than 100 teams from around the world. La Crosse is also home to several state championships including bowling and the Ski & Snowboard Championships, held each year at Mt. La Crosse. Mt. La Crosse offers the steepest vertical in the mid-west. Additionally, the Mississippi River se rves as host to several fishing tournaments. For more information, see www.explorelacrosse.com LOUISIANA'S NORTHSHORE The numerous state-of-the· art sporting fa cilities offered by Louisiana 's Northshore make it a natural consideration for your next sporting event. Louisiana's Northshore hosts various events including youth baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, taekwondo and more.The Northshore has recently hosted USSSA 6-14 Year Old Nationals, Girls and Boys Biddy Basketball and the MidSouth Pickleball Regionals. One of the area's standout facilities is the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell, which is spacious and diverse. The 45,000-sq.ft. facility can accommodate up to 2,500 people. Past sporting events hosted at the Northshore Harbor Center include AAU Baton Twirling Extravaganza, regional karate tournaments and dance competitions. Another two first lass sporting venues to explore are Pelican Park and the Castine Center, which are located in Mandeville. Boasting 32 fields, five courts, batting cages and a skate park, Pelican Park hosts tournaments year-round. The Castine Center, a 28,000-sq.-ft. facility, has held sporting events including AAU Ping Pong, weightlifting, wrestling, volleyball and cheer leading. Conveniently located within an hour of New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Baton Rouge, Louisiana's Nonhshore is great for families . The Northshore offers affordable accommodations, beautiful green space, shopping, unique attractions and a world-class culinary scene. For more information, call 866-631-13 10 or see www.Louisiana Northshore.com/sports_des. MARQUETIE, MICHIGAN Superior Dome If your next event is worthy of a facility in the Book of World Records, you'll want 10 consider the Superior Dome in Marquette.Michigan : The Super Dome is listed as the fifth-largest (in diameter) dome structure in the world. It stands 14 stories high, encompasses 5.1 acres under its roof and has a permanent seating capacity Of 8,000, although up to 16,000 people can be accommodated. The Superior Dome has been home to the Wildcat football team since its 1991 construction; it is now also home to the Wildcat soccer and track teams. It features a retractable artificial turf, the largest of its kind in the world. When extended, the turf has the ability 10 accommodate football. Soccer (120 x 72-ft. Field) and field hockey. Underneath, a synthetic playing surface features three basketball/volleyball courts, two tennis courts and a 200- meter track. Three concession areas are available. Numerous community events Are held in the facility each year (softball/ soccer tournaments, builders/recreation/ auto shows, etc.). The Superior Dome is home to offices of NMU Intercolleg iate Athletics and Recreational Sports and the U.S. Olympic Education Center. It also features special training areas for USOEC boxing, weightlifting and wrestling teams. For more information, see www.marquette country.org. MONROEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA Monroeville, Pennsylvania is a great place to compete, play and experience a new convention venue. Monroeville is located just 12 miles east of Pittsburgh, with easy access 10 the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The community accommodates softball, deck hockey, baseball, soccer, football, golf and any outdoor recreational activity with welllighted and maintained fields. For indoor events, Monroeville offers nearby premium facilities for aquatics, racquet sports, rugby, ice hockey, soccer, basketball or volleyball. The Monroeville Convention Center (MCC) , Western Pennsylvania's newest convention center, has IOO,584-sq.-ft. of exhibition space that can function as an ideal spot for numerous types of indoor sports events. Numerous restaurants, including familiar fast-food establishments, family-style eateries, a sports pub and fine dining, abound. When you're not on the field, Monroeville's shopping districts, including the Monroeville Mall, offer plenty of diversions and entertainment. Event planners concerned with emergency planning will be glad to know that The Western Pennsylvania Hospital- Forbes Regional Campus is located right in Monroeville, Monroeville is a friendly community that just happens to have first-rate meeting facilities, comfortable accommodati ons, and access to some world-class sports venues, all at some very reasonable prices. For information on events, hotels, shopping and attractions go to www.visit monroeville.com OCEAN CITY, MARYlAND Roland E. Powell Convention Center Ocean City, Maryland, known as " the East Coast's number-one vacation destination," is rapidly becoming the choice for competitive arts groups throughout the northeast with waves of activities and attractions for visitors. The same amenities that lure vacationers to Ocean City also create an ideal sports event destination. The Roland E. Powell Convention Center has an expansion program in progress That will be complete in the fall of2012, providing more than 180,000 sq ft . Of space. The expanded venue will offer new competition space overlooking the Isle of Wight Bay with the beautiful Ocean City beach directly across the street. Participants can view a sunrise on the beach and sunset on the bay from one unique venue. Making the Roland E. Powell Convention Center an even more ideal sports event destination is the fact that it is just a five-hour drive from New York and Richmond, less than three hours from Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis and Philadelphia, and even less if you fly USAir into the convenient Salisbury/Ocean City Regional Airport. As Maryland 's only beac h resort, Ocean City is a year-round destination, and the Roland E. Powe ll Convention Center is the place to be during every season. For more information, see www.ococean.com. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND The Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex Versatility is the name of the game in Providence. The Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Cqmplex in Providence, Rhode Island, includes multi-use facilities at the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) and an impressive arena setting at the newly renovated Dunkin ' Donuts Center. Connected via skybridge, these two distinct facilities offer an enticing array of options within a short walking distance- making it versatile enough for any type of event. The RICC features more than 100,000 sq. ft. Of contiguous exhibit space and a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, ideal for events like gymnastics, cheerleading and dance competitions. Nearby, 'The Dunk' recently underwent an $80 million renovation and boasts more than 13,000 brand -new seats, expanded concourses and a state-of-the-art video scoreboard Hockey, basketba1l, racing, monster trucks and keynote speakers have all recently made successful use of this stadium-like space. Enhancing this val uable package is the connectivity of the complex to the 564- room Westin Providence hotel and the gorgeous 170+-store Providence Place Mall. Plus the complex's central downtown location means attendees and participants are never far away from Providence's award-winning dining scene, cuning-edge entertainment and first-rate shopping. For more information on booking a sporting event in Rhode Island, please visit www.GoSportsRl.com. ROCK Hill, SOUTH CAROLINA Manchester Meadows Sports events planners for a variety of tournaments and special events have found Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill.South Carolina, to be a terrific facility. In fact, it will host 35 -plus events in 2012, including the US Youth Soccer National Championships, July 24-29. The soccer complex is nestled inside a beautiful 70-acre park offering six lighted natural turf fields and two lighted championship fields with synthetic turf and electronic scoreboards. Stadium seating at the championship fields accommodales 1,500. The main pavilion located near the park entrance features concessions, park offices and a multipurpose meeting space.The park also offers a pond, lake pavilion, playground area, picnic shelters and trails for walking and biking. Manchester Meadows is next to Rock Hill 's premiere shopping, dining and entertainment district, and even connects to that area with one of the park's walking trails. Tournament participants can stay in a hotel, have a meal and catch a movie- all within walking disl'ance of the park. Another perk is the park 's location within a mile of 1-77, just south Of Charlotte, North Carolina. Manchester Meadows is one member of a trio of sports venues in Rock Hill including softbaillbaseball and tennis facilities.For information, call 803-329-5620. ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI Civic Arena When it comes to sporting events, SI.Joseph, Missouri, has something to offer for every enthusiast. A crown jevel in SI.Joseph is the Civic Arena. The dynamic, versatile design of this facility includes flexible seating capabilities that enable it to accommodate any type of event. It offers general assembly seating for up to 4,200 or as much as 19,000 sq. ft. Of unobstructed exhibit space or performing surface along with seating for 2,300. It features superb acoustics and lighting plus a clear view of activities from all locations.Modular walls within the meeting room complex allow arrangements for groups of 25 up to 300. These spacious rooms are ideal for seminars, banquets, private meetings and receptions. Access to the building is excellent for exhibitors, performers and audiences. Facilities are completely equipped for and easily accessible to the handicapped. St. Joseph offers additional indoor facilities including Bode Ice Arena, the SI. Joseph Tennis and Swim Club, Missouri Western State University Fieldhouse and more. For more information, call 800- 785-0360 or follow the SI. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Twitter: STJOMO. TORONTO, CANADA University of Toronto Pan American Aquatics Centre, Fjeld House and Canadian Sport Institute Now under construction and scheduled for completion in 20 I 4,The University of Toronto Scarborough campus will be the site of the Pan American Aquatics Centre (PAAC), Field House and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO). The facility will function as a center for high-performance and university sports, while providing much-needed community recreation space following the Pan Am Games. Which will be held in Toronto in 2015. Students, high-performance athletes, sporting groups and community residents of all ages will have the best possible facil ities available to them, from gymnasia and multipurpose progmm areas to fitness and training facilities. The design and construction of the Aquatics Centre will adhere LO the guidelines and sustainability principles of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED!) Raring system-with the goal of achieving LEED~ Silver standard for the facility- and will comply with the City of Toronto's Toronto Green Standard (TGS). LEED1i buildings focus on healthy indoor environments, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of energy, water and other resources. The 2014 construction completion goal gives the venue time to be tested before the Pan Am Games, which run July 10- 26,2015. (The Parapan Am Games run August 7-14, 20 15.) Visit www.see torontonow.com/Sports-Tourism for more infonnation. TRI-VALLEY, CALIFORNIA Alameda County Fairgrounds and Pleasanton Sports & Recreation Park I A Accessible, affordable Tri-Valleycomprised of the three adjacent valleys of Amador, Livennore and San Ramon, and home to the cities of Pleasanton, Livennore, Dublin, San Ramon and the town of Danville-is an ideal Northern California sports destination. Planners find more than 50 venues, from regional parks, sports fields, golf courses, fairgrounds, pools, rodeo grounds, bocce facilities and acres of outdoor space, Tri-Valley's largest sports venue is the Alameda County Fairgrounds with 100,000-sq.-ft. of indoor and outdoor space. Its largest sports faci lity is the Pleasanton Sports & Recreation Park, hosting baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. The Tri-Valley region boast's 4,600 sleeping rooms and 80,000 sq. ft. Of hotel meeting space, with the San Ramon Marriott (368 sleeping rooms, 16,500 sq. ft. Of meeting space) being the largest meeting hotel in the region. Plentiful accommodations are guaranteed as the region hosted Stage 4 of me Amgen Tour of California in 2011 and will host the 2012 World Bocce Championships. Centrally located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tri-Valley is one hour from three major San Francisco Bay Area airports (OAK, SFO, SJC), is located along the 1-680n-580 junction, and boasts two BART stations and an ACE Train Smtion. For infonnation, see www.trivalley cvb.com.
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