These are new sports venues and facilities that opened in the past year that you need to know about when planning future events.
Albany Capital Center Albany, N.Y.
The $78.5 million facility opened March 1, playing host to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. This year’s events alone will fill 3,750 hotel room nights, 3,200 of which represent new business in Albany. Early estimates say the venue will generate $26.5 million in annual visitor spending.
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches West Palm Beach, Fla.
A shared spring training site used by the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, the 6,500-seat venue debuted in February. Beyond big-league teams, the stadium has hosted USA Baseball and other amateur baseball events, as well as a youth soccer tournament and the Mark Richt Football Camps.
Cape Girardeau SportsPlex Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The 121,000-sq.-ft. facility, which debuted in May, is one the largest of its kind in Missouri. The venue’s schedule is already loaded with basketball events. Soccer, volleyball, flag football, martial arts and gymnastics competitions are on the radar for 2017 too.DE Turf Complex Frederica, Del. Opened this spring, the new complex holds 12 synthetic turf fields and a 1,500-seat championship stadium into an 85-acre campus. The facility figures is already proving to be a big draw for regional events, attracting teams from New York, Philadelphia and D.C. It has already established partnerships with the NCAA, USA Field Hockey, Legacy Global Sports and more.
Finley Center Hoover, Ala.
The 155,000-sq.-ft. venue outside of Birmingham, Alabama, opened in May. The indoor component of Hoover Met Complex, it holds 11 basketball courts and 17 volleyball courts, an indoor climbing center and meeting space. Five baseball/softball diamonds, five soccer/football/lacrosse fields and 16 tennis courts are scheduled for completion in February 2018. The complex includes an existing, 10,000-seat stadium that hosted May’s SEC Baseball Tournament.
Fieldhouse USA Mansfield Mansfield, Texas
The 100,000-sq.-ft. indoor facility that debuted early this year is built to host basketball, volleyball and futsal. Look for regional tournaments to use Fieldhouse before national tournaments sign on.Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta It’s countdown to kickoff on another major sporting championship in Atlanta thanks to this new facility. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has replaced the Georgia Dome as the home of the Falcons. It also drew massive crowds for the city's MLS team, Atlanta United FC. The state-of-the-art stadium has already been tapped to host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and the 2020 Final Four.
Round Rock Multipurpose Complex Round Rock, Texas
Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw calls this 60-acre, $27 million complex a “landmark addition” to the Texas destination. It’s easy to see why. With two championship fields and eight additional multipurpose fields, Round Rock Multipurpose Complex is expected to bring in thousands of players and spectators annually. Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse and football will make good use of the state-of-the-art grass and turf fields, all of which are equipped with Musco Sports Lighting products. Twenty-five events were already on the books for 2017 as of the complex’s May opening.
Shipyard Park Charleston, S.C.
This venue on a pristine piece of property on the Wando River in Charleston, South Carolina, is concentrating on quality over quantity, says Stan Kowalski, director of the baseball program at the complex. With five AstroTurf-clad baseball fields—three youth-size and two for collegiate-level games—ShipYard Park has already impressed the likes of Game Day USA, which is bringing an event there in September 2018. But “we’re really an events space with baseball fields,” says Kowalski. Soccer and lacrosse event organizers are eager to use the fields for training and tournaments, he says. The indoor Stewart Center is capable of hosting volleyball, gymnastics and private events.
Wyandotte Youth Soccer Complex Kansas City, Kan.
Behind the backing of MLS team Sporting Kansas City, this 12-field facility kicked off in June with hopes of attracting premier youth tournaments. Joining it later this year will be the National Training and Coaching Development Center, a collaboration between Sporting KC, U.S. Soccer and Children’s Mercy. The venue will concentrate on the education of players, coaches and referees, and be a draw for sports-related conferences.
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