Sharing sister cities in both Champaign and Urbana, Champaign County serves as an amalgamation of a big city feel with rural area opportunities, creating an experience like no other. The home of the enormous University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the area stays perpetually young and vibrant with the constant shuffling of new students every year bringing the latest fashion and culture. Theaters and restaurants assure there is always something to do at any time of the year. Stay in one of the many hotels nearby like Drury Inn Champaign, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, and La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Champaign.
Notable Recent/Upcoming Events
- 2019 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, State Farm Center (March 14–16, 2019)
- Illinois Futbol Club Spring & Fall Invites, Dodds Park & Outdoor Center Fields (September 27–29, 2019 and May 1–3, 2020)
- Illinois High School Individual Wrestling State Championships, State Farm Center, (February 13–15, 2020)
- Illinois Triathlon Championships, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve (September 22, 2019)
- Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, Champaign-Urbana April 25–26, 2020)
CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered
- Volunteer Staff
- PR/Media Assistance
- Site Visits
- Transportation Assistance
- Lodging Services
- Welcome Bags/Gifts
- Itinerary Development
- Event Planning Assistance
Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility
- Activities & Recreation Center (ARC) at the University of Illinois
- Dodds Park
- Atkins Tennis Center/Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex
- State Farm Center
- Leonhard Center
- Memorial Stadium
- Stone Creek Golf Course
Activities & Recreation Center (ARC) at the University of Illinois
The ARC is a 340,000-square-foot on-campus rec center with the capacity to host nearly any indoor sport with its versatile spaces. The space has four gymnasiums that can be converted into 12 basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, three squash courts or 12 racquetball courts. Teams can take advantage of the extensive work-out equipment and spaces along with its 35-foot climbing wall and one-fifth mile indoor track. It houses both an indoor and outdoor pool, with diving wells perfect for competitions and a sauna and café great to enjoy afterward.
Sports: Basketball, Volleyball, Swimming, Diving, Squash, Wrestling, Martial Arts
Located at Parkland College, Dodds Park has seven premier tournament quality softball fields, in a 3-plex and 4-plex structure. The site also has 11 top quality soccer fields that have hosted the Illinois Futbol Club Spring and Fall Invites. Enthusiastic fans can enjoy the indoor concessions and onsite restrooms while cheering their team on to victory. Situated along the edge of both the soccer and softball fields is the park’s 18-hole disc golf course.
Sports: Softball, Soccer, Disc-Golf
Atkins Tennis Center/Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex
Recognized in 1992 by the USTA as the country’s “Most Outstanding Tennis Facility”, Atkins Tennis Center & Khan Outdoor Complex has only gotten better since then. With its 2009 expansion, the complex boasts 26 courts in total, 20 outdoor and six indoor, with six of the courts containing individual scoreboards and spectator seating. The complex can hold up to 3,800 spectators and has indoor restrooms, a pro shop and a sound system, elevating tournaments to an even higher level of professionalism.
State Farm Center
No stranger to large events, the State Farm Center has 15,500 permanent seats, with a max capacity of 16,500 spectators. Its flexible floor space means it’s just as ready to have a Broadway show or rock concert as it is a Fighting Illini basketball game. The arena has hosted the 2019 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball tournaments, the Illinois High School Individual Wrestling State Championships, and much more. It offers a range of in-house services to take the responsibility of booking, ticketing, marketing and more off your shoulders and into the hands of its 40 full-time staff. The center recently renovated its backstage area so that any event can take full advantage of its expansive full-service kitchen, catering/dining services and locker rooms.
Sports: Basketball, Wrestling, WWE, Gymnastics
When scouting out the best facilities in Champaign County, don’t be quick to overlook Leonhard Center. This local recreation center’s main gym has the ability to transform its normally two full-sized IHSA basketball courts into four volleyball regulation-sized courts. An indoor walking track, weight room, cardio room and an indoor playground for kids to enjoy are also available throughout the facility. For the more environmentally aware, it might be interesting to know the center is geothermally powered.
Sports: Basketball, Volleyball
The sense of history is palpable at Memorial Stadium. 200 stone columns line the perimeter of the facility, 183 of which are etched with the name of a World War I veteran who lost their lives in the war. When Soldier Field in Chicago was undergoing renovations, Memorial’s capacity to seat 60,000 proved useful to host Chicago Bears games. With conventional concession options like hot-dogs, French fries and nachos, attendees will never go hungry watching the Fighting Illini’s football team. Additionally, the stadium serves as the finish line Illinois Marathon, a qualifier for the famous Boston Marathon.
Stone Creek Golf Course
As far as golf courses in Champaign County go, there’s no better bet than Stone Creek Golf Course. Home to the Fighting Illini men and women’s golf team since its inception in 1999, Stone Creek has hosted the Men and Women’s Big Ten Championships, various intercollegiate championships and the NGA Tour Michelob Classic. With its beautiful bent grass fairways, soft smooth slopes and subtle elevation changes, this course is challenging for all levels of play.
Things to do in Champaign County
After a long game day, take your team to Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch, a rather unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. Open from late July to early December, the active apple orchard is a chance for visitors to pick their own apples straight from the tree and explore fun attractions like the corn maze and the putt-putt golf area. Fulfill your apple cravings in the wondrous onsite store, where everything from apple cider to delicious crisp donuts are made fresh every day.
Outside of Alaska itself, there are very few chances to meet Alaskan reindeer. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch is one of those chances. Hardy’s got started with the purchase of two reindeer to help sell Christmas trees and now has 16 friendly animals for your team to meet. Eat at a 100-year-old bar where you can feast on Texas-style brisket and beans. You can also explore a 10-acre corn maze where its design changes every year.
Have some time before a tournament and looking for somewhere to grab dinner? Take a stroll over to Downtown Champaign’s Entertainment District and you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more. Catch a film at the historic Virginia Theatre, host of the Ebertfest every year, or the non-profit Art Theater for the more avant-garde films. Have a bite in one of the many locally owned restaurants, like Nando Milano Trattoria or Farren’s Pub. Stop into the many small shops like Jane Addams Bookstore, where you can support small business owners and enjoy yourself at the same time.
A trip to Champaign County that doesn’t include taking advantage of the gorgeous University of Illinois campus isn’t really a trip to Champaign County at all. Watch one of the many shows that are always taking place at the school’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts or learn something at the Spurlock Museum. The cherry trees of the Japanese Gardens are a beauty to behold when in season.
Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space escape rooms build teamwork better than anything. Run by former filmmakers Anne and Chris Lukeman, the escape rooms they’ve designed have a cinematic feel that elevate them above the normal “locked in a room” experience most offer. Save the world from an apocalypse, escape the killer or slay the dragon in their constantly updated and changing rooms.
I have always had great support from the staff at State Farm Center. Their attention to detail in preparation for and management of my events continues to be outstanding. The updates have enhanced the great atmosphere our event has enjoyed for years. We look forward to our annual return to State Farm Center as we know we will be supported at all levels including Visit Champaign County and the great staff at State Farm Center.
Illinois High School Association: Craig Anderson (Executive Director)
Teams are looking for the best complexes to play and for thirteen years Dodds Park has been one of the best multi-field complexes in the midwest. Excellent, flat, well-manicured fields that drain well and amazing field crews that work tirelessly to get fields ready after wet weather make Dodds Park an annual stop for hundreds of travel baseball teams each year.
Game Day USA: Don Flynn (VP Business Development)
How to Get to Champaign County
By car: Champaign County serves as a meeting point where I-57 intersects with both I-72 and I-74, both which mainly run through the state of Illinois. Whereas I-72 runs east to west across the state, I-57 and I-74 both cut diagonally and therefore provide an easy route to and from Chicago and Indianapolis, respectively. These routes all stop at or around the cities of Champaign and Urbana in the middle of the county.
By air: Teams visiting from farther destinations may find it easier to utilize the University of Illinois Willard Airport for non-stop flights to O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth airports, serviced by American and United Airlines, where travelers can catch a connection if need be. Alternatively, nearby metropolitan cities Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis are within a short drive’s distance and both have their own major international airports, including O’Hare, Midway, Indianapolis International Airport and St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
Company Name: Visit Champaign County
Sports Sales Manager: Ryan Reid
Title: Director of Sports & Special Events