Sky Basketball Championships, held at
the 7,000-seat Reno Events Center. Fine
hopes the NCAA will change its rules
that prohibit holding games in states
where gambling is allowed “because ev-
ery state has gambling,” she said. “To
keep Nevada off the list of eligibility is
Reno attracts a large number of
girls’ volleyball tournaments, includ-
ing events for USA Volleyball and the
Northern California Volleyball Associa-
tion, which holds its Girls’ Far Western
National Qualifier at the convention
center every April.
Baseball and fastpitch softball are big
markets, and most events use the all-turf
Golden Eagle Regional Park and Sports
Complex in Sparks. Eighty-five teams
played there this past summer for Ath-
letx’s annual Youth Baseball Nationals.
“We love the destination because
of what the area has to offer,” said Jim
Haddaway, Athletx co-founder and
CEO. “Our event is centered around creating a weeklong vacation destination.”
Lake Tahoe is a short drive away, and
Athletx partners with Wild Island wa-terpark to provide weeklong passes to
coaches and players. The casino resorts
also provide entertainment for all ages.
The 221-acre Ford Park Entertainment
Complex puts Beaumont, Texas, on the
sports-event map. But organizers also
come to Beaumont, 85 miles east of
Houston, because “we’re famously good
for sports,” said Freddie Willard, director
of sales for the Beaumont Convention &
Visitors Bureau. “We’re fan-friendly, and
we’re ready for the teams to come. We
know what they’re looking for, and we’re
Ford Park offers facilities, including
Ford Fields, Ford Arena and Ford Mid-
way, which hosts the annual South Tex-
as State Fair. Ford Pavilion is a 14,000-
seat covered outdoor amphitheater.
When the United States Baton Twirling Association brought more than
2,000 people to Beaumont in July 2015
for its national championships, the
group held competitions in the arena,
used the midway for warmups, hosted
social functions in the exhibit hall and
set up vendors in the front concourse.
Willard just updated the CVB’s convention calendar and realized “every
weekend we have a softball or baseball
tournament, and some weekends we’re
hosting two,” she said. The city will
host the USFA state tournament over
two weekends next summer at Ford
Fields, while the USA Softball of Texas
8-Under Pixie Tournament will use the
Beaumont Athletic Complex.
USSSA baseball plays in Beaumont
every year, and the Southeast Texas Base-
ball Academy brings its world series to
the city for a week in late June. The city
also attracts adult tournaments, such
as the Southern Black Softball Associa-
tion, which brings in about 80 teams for
its World Tournament every July.
Beaumont Athletic Complex is key
in the city’s fastest-growing sport: tennis. The complex has 24 lighted tennis
courts, including four that are covered.
Those facilities, which the city now
calls the Beaumont Municipal Tennis
Center, have “allowed us to host more
tennis tournaments, specifically more
USTA-sanctioned tournaments,” Willard said, such as the USTA’s JTT Section Summer Track Championship,
which drew 350 athletes in June.
The Cris Quinn Memorial Soccer
Complex and Babe D. Zaharias Park offer space for field sports such as soccer
and lacrosse. Beaumont has welcomed
cheer, dance, basketball and mat sports
in the Beaumont Civic Center.
Although Stillwater, Oklahoma, has
only about 50,000 residents, it punch-es above its weight thanks to Oklahoma State University. College students
make up about half of the city’s population, which “keeps us young and
keeps us a fun, fast-paced community,” said Cristy Morrison, president
and CEO of Visit Stillwater.