The Gainesville Difference
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, where proud Gators like Tim Tebow and Emmitt Smith once played. Thousands of students regularly flock to football games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as well as numerous other athletic complexes to watch exciting competitions. G-Ville, as it is sometimes called, is partly defined by the Gators, with venues like Alfred A. McKethan Stadium and Donald R. Dizney Stadium offering some of the finest sites to watch baseball, lacrosse, and soccer. But there’s even more beyond campus grounds. Baseball and softball players love playing in Champions Park, while BMX enthusiasts appreciate spending a day at High Springs BMX. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Gainesville is its flexibility regarding sports venues. Gainesville Raceway is perfect for racing and cycling, and Jonesville Soccer Complex boasts a bevy of multi-use fields. Visitors are encouraged to take a trip to Legacy Park or Easton Newberry Sports Complex, as both of these sites can host tourneys in a variety of sports.
Fun times in a College Atmosphere
When in Gainesville, a stop at the University of Florida is a must. The university campus features Neo-Gothic architecture which nicely juxtaposes against its enthusiastic student body. Visitors are encouraged to tour the campus whenever they can, but a must-see spot is the Gators’ football stadium, nicknamed “The Swamp” on a Saturday afternoon. When the buzzer sounds on the basketball court or the final whistle blows on the gridiron, players, coaches, and fans need things to do in their spare time. Tourists can head over to Devils Millhopper, a giant sinkhole with rainforest-like conditions. This geological state park boasts hiking trails and beautiful scenery. Kika Silva Pla Planetarium is the only planetarium in north-central Florida and offers live shows and concerts. It also features two state-of-the-art projectors. For outdoor fun, out-of-towners can canoe, tube, and snorkel at Gennie Springs for a phenomenal family experience.
Let us connect you with Gainesville Sports Commission
Joleen Cacciatore Miller
- Convenient Location in the Southeast: Centrally located in the state and an hour from the state border.
- Grant programs, sponsorships and marketing support available
- Event managers are hands-on, ensure smooth carefree event, high attention to detail, provide logistical support, and assistance in every area of the event.
- Able to recommend and/or set up room blocks at quality hotel rooms and accommodations for reasonable group rates.
- Ability to organize large volunteer groups from the University of Florida and support from local sport clubs and organizations.
- Facilities/Venues are in close proximity to many hotels, restaurants and unique attractions. No long car rides for your participants.
- Creating the best Participant Experience!
The staff at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex and the Gainesville Sports Commission are a pleasure to work with. They collaborate with a rights holder as if the event was one of their own. It is obvious they take pride in customer service and putting on the best event possible.
–Sheri Rhodes, National Events Manager, USA Archery
The Gainesville Sports Commission has been a tremendous asset and vital partner in helping us run our annual tournament in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The O’Connell Center staff is always professional and highly trained. The O’Dome is definitely the most prestigious facility to host an event in North Central Florida!
–Jason Sorgi, President, Japan Karate Do, LLC
In 2004, we decided to organize an annual marathon and half-marathon. We turned to the Gainesville Sports Commission for help. The response we received was more than expected and truly made the difference between an idea and an actual event. We value our relationship with the Gainesville Sports Commission and look forward to many years of partnering to bring the Gainesville community world class running events.
–Brite Whitaker, Director , Five Points of Life Race Weekend
Champions Park of Newberry
Sports: Baseball, fast-pitch softball
The park is a 16-field state of the art complex with synthetic turf infields and natural grass out fields. The complex can host youth baseball and fast-pitch softball with 220 ft. permanent fencing on each field. Champions Park features indoor tournament meeting space, scoreboards, concessions, restrooms, and parking for 500+ cars. The Florida Sports Foundation Awarded Champions Park of Newberry the 2017 Small Market Venue of the Year.
Easton Newberry Sports Complex- Archery of Excellence
Sports: Field archery, 3D archery, indoor archery, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, cross country, football, soccer, volleyball
The Easton Newberry Sports Complex has been designated Community Olympic Development Program status for archery by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The 20,000-square-foot indoor facility is on a 100-acre multi-sport complex. Due to its extreme size, it can be used for local, state, regional, national and international competitions. The indoor facility has fiber-optic cable, internet and video support, meeting space, concession stands, restrooms, and seating for 500. The Florida Sports Foundation Awarded Easton’s Gator Cup Archery and Olympic Team Trials the 2017 Mid-Market Event of the Year.
City of Alachua’s Legacy Park
Sports: Basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, karate, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, football, rugby
Legacy Park is a 100-acre complex with a brand new 40,000-square-foot indoor facility. The indoor portion showcases over 30,000 square feet of open space with floating high-performance wood floors. There are four full-sized basketball courts and four volleyball courts, including a championship court. The indoor facility includes large meeting spaces and breakout rooms, internet and video support, concessions and ample parking. The outdoor complex has four multi-purpose fields and is a part of the Hal Brady Recreational Sports Complex. The latter has five lighted fields for baseball and fast-pitch softball. The championship field can seat 2,500 and features an air-conditioned press box.
Alachua County’s Jonesville Park – Soccer, Tennis and Baseball/Softball Complex
Sports: Soccer, lacrosse, flag football, ultimate, tennis, baseball, softball
The Jonesville Soccer Complex has six natural-grass tournament fields with lights, as well as additional warm-up areas, parking, restrooms, concessions and a covered space for registration and award ceremonies. The fields have the ability to be manipulated into many different field specifications, depending on the tournament director’s needs. Located in the same park, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC) features 14 lighted clay courts, 1 tournament standard show court, 2 large pavilions, a pro-shop, and restrooms with shower facilities. The Jonesville Baseball Park is home to 4 baseball/softball fields, 6 tunnel batting cage, bullpens, concussions and shaded bleachers.
Sports: Drag racing, kart racing, cycling
Gainesville Raceway is home to the historic Gatornationals, the largest annual drag race east of the Mississippi River. This event brings in more than 30,000 spectators each year. The raceway has a 1,320-foot drag strip and a separate 1.6-mile road course. The road course can also be used for many different cycling events. There is seating for over 30,000, including bleachers, outdoor balcony seating, and luxury skyboxes.
High Springs BMX
High Springs BMX is an existing USA BMX-sanctioned track that currently operates year-round. It is one of the premier tracks in the southeast and is quickly developing a reputation for its smooth, quick surface, exciting track layout, and warm hospitality. The track is fully lighted with three turns and four straights in an “M” style. It also offers full spectator access and viewing along both the first and fourth straights.
Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
Home of the University of Florida baseball team, this lighted stadium seats 5,500 and has delighted Gator fans since its opening in 1988. McKethan Stadium has seen some great games and a lot of sellout crowds, as spectators love the park’s amenities, including a press box, concession stands, and locker rooms for both teams. Home of the 2017 NCAA National Champions Florida Gators Baseball Team.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Not far from Alfred A. McKethan Stadium sits Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where the Florida Gators play football on Saturdays in the fall. This stadium can hold 92,000 screaming spectators and has been a staple of Florida football since 1930. Ben Hill Griffin is the 12th-largest college football stadium in America, and the 18th-largest stadium in the world. Football enthusiasts would be wise to visit this one-of-a-kind venue.
Donald R. Dizney Lacrosse Stadium
Sports: Lacrosse, soccer
Donald R. Dizney Stadium has three multi-use fields, all equipped with lights. The complex has a seating capacity of 1,500, with a press box, scoreboard, concessions and restrooms. Additionally, it houses a 12,000-square-foot indoor facility that includes locker, training, and equipment rooms. Home to the Florida Gators women’s lacrosse team, this is a great place to watch the Gator girls play.
Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex
The main building of the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex encompasses 5,620 square feet and includes coaches’ offices for the men’s and women’s teams, as well as a training room, locker rooms, conference room, reception area, and a 3,000-square-foot courtyard. A 1,000-seat grandstand overlooks six main lighted courts, in addition to six backcourts. The complex is also home to the Charles R. and Nancy V. Perry Indoor Facility, a 22,800-square foot facility that is ventilated and features three courts, state-of-the-art surfacing, lighting and a small area for fans to watch if matches get moved indoors. Home to the 2017 NCAA National Champions Florida Gators Women’s Tennis Team.
Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium
Sports: Track and Field, soccer
James G. Pressly Stadium has a nine-lane competition track, equipped with lights and a multi-use field. There are 4,500 permanent seats and 9,000 bleacher seats. Home of the Florida Gators track and field and soccer teams, this venue of the university’s finest athletic havens. Home of the Florida Gators Soccer Team and 2017 NCAA National Champions Florida Gators Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Team
Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Sports: Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, martial arts, cheerleading
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center is a 292,000-square-foot indoor facility with more t han 20,000 square feet of open space in the arena. The venue features an indoor aquatics facility with an eight-lane pool, moveable bulkhead, a diving well and multiple boards and platforms. The main arena can seat up to 12,000 spectators, while the indoor aquatics center can seat up to 3,000 patrons. This flexible complex is also home to a number of University of Florida athletic squads, including teams for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and diving.
How to Get to Gainesville
Gainesville sits in the middle of Florida, so it is easy to reach from surrounding cities like Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Orlando. For those who choose to fly, Gainesville Regional Airport, and some international airports, provide perfect chances to get to G-Ville fast and on time.
By Car: US Route 441 runs straight into the center of the city, while the main artery is Interstate 75. There are other highways as well, including Highways 24 and 121, that can be useful when driving into Gainesville.
By Air: The closest international airport is in Jacksonville, located 81 miles to the northeast. Daytona International Airport is another option, though it is 101 miles from G-Ville. Those flying domestic can use Gainesville Regional Airport.