Site Visit: Virginia Beach

Sports planners are always looking for affordable, fun destinations for their events. Tracking down a city that excites attendees, can handle a large tournament, and can provide an avenue for fun and relaxation is something every planner wrestles with. Virginia Beach has all of this, and it should be atop every sports planner’s site visit list. Convention Center Gem The Virginia Beach Convention Center is LEED Gold certified and has 125,000 column-free space. The Virginia Beach Convention Center is one of the most advanced centers in the country. One of the nation’s first LEED Gold-certified convention centers is more than just a green venue. With more than 525,000 square feet of space, including 125,000 square feet of contiguous, column-free space, the center can hold indoor volleyball, basketball and other sports events. A DoubleTree Hotel is located two blocks from the center, and the beachfront hotel strip is less than two miles away, where the vast majority of the more than 12,000 hotel rooms in the city are located. Princess Anne Commons The Sporsplex is located next to the Field House and can hold up to 10,000 people. The hotspot for sports in Virginia Beach is the Princess Anne community, home of Princess Anne Commons. One of its highlights is the Virginia Beach Field House, which has six indoor turf fields (perfect for soccer, among other sports), eight regulation volleyball courts and four basketball courts. Located directly adjacent to the field house is the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, a multiuse stadium equipped with a press box. The stadium, which features synthetic turf and seats 6,000, was built for soccer but can be used for lacrosse, field hockey and other sports. Located across the street from the Sportsplex is the Princess Anne Athletic Complex, home to eight lighted, tournament-quality softball fields and seven multipurpose playing fields (two of which are equipped with lights). Run by the city, the athletic complex hopes to have all seven multipurpose fields equipped with lights in the near future. Less tan 1.5 miles from the Sportsplex is the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex. With 19 outdoor soccer fields (10 full-size, two lighted fields with synthetic turf and seven small fields), this is the home for soccer in Virginia Beach. More than 50,000 out-of-town visitors use the fields each year. A Tennis Mecca Utilizing the same court surface as the U.S. Open, the Virginia Beach Tennis Center is a premier venue.When tennis is brought up, most American players think of New York, home of the U.S. Open, or perhaps Atlanta, home of the largest tennis league in the country. However, that could change as more people discover that Virginia Beach is home to one of the most impressive tennis facilities in the world. The Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club has 40 tennis courts, including 10 indoor courts featuring the exact surface used for the U.S. Open. Built by an avid tennis fan, the facility spares no expense when it comes to its courts. Twenty-seven outdoor clay courts and three hard courts line the outside, but the indoor courts are the true gems. The facility can turn its indoor space into a 94,000-sq.-ft. canvas for planners. A past winner of the Tennis Club of the Year Award, the facility is also USTA certified.