Cherry on Top: Tremendous Traverse City

The Northern Michigan City combines top sports complexes with some of the most pristine settings for outdoor activities the Midwest has to offer

The Northern Michigan City combines top sports complexes with some of the most pristine settings for outdoor activities the Midwest has to offer.

Why Should I Take My Tourney to Traverse City?

Tournament planners have a difficult job: They search tirelessly for the best facilities that are fit to hold their particular event. These venues must have adequate space, capacity for spectators, exceptional concessions and other important amenities. They want their event to be the best it can be. In Traverse City, a plethora of suitable sports sites makes the lives of tournament planners easier, while also making it more enjoyable for players participating in some of the top athletic events in the Midwest. A variety of sports is covered in this Michigan town, from hockey at Centre Ice Arena to BMX racing at Grand Traverse County Raceway. Soccer fans can head over to the massive Keystone Soccer Complex, while sailing enthusiasts will adore West Grand Traverse Bay. No matter your passion, Grand Traverse has what you’re looking for.

What Can I Do in Traverse City?

Scenery Shot

What can’t you do in Traverse City? Summer is beach season, as warm temperatures and ample sunshine make pristine Lake Michigan beaches more tantalizing than ever before. Sometimes called the Caribbean of the North, Traverse City was named one of National Geographic’s top 10 summer trips. There are also over 150 inland lakes and hundreds of miles of Lake Michigan shoreline for outdoor activities. Tourists enjoy fishing, while 20 golf courses in the area never go unnoticed. But what if it’s raining? No problem—head over to the City Opera House to catch the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, or visit the ever-changing art exhibits at the Dennos Museum Center. Hungry? There is a ton of little eateries, plus Traverse City is the largest producer of tart cherries in the world. With hundreds of restaurants and shops, this Michigan town provides all the entertainment necessary between games.

X Factors

  • Comprehensive bid presentation
  • Assistance in site selection
  • Referral service
  • Attendance building
  • Information tables
  • Media assistance

Planner Perspective

The Traverse City Figure Skating Club hosted the US Figure Skating’s Tri-States Syncro Competition and the 2015 Eastern Great Lakes Regional Figure Skating Championships. Up to 2,250 skaters and guests enjoyed several days of incredible competition. Traverse City is easy to get to, offers a great range of hotels and dining options, and has helpful people. Traverse City Tourism and Sarah Barnard were so helpful, from assisting us with completing bids to on-site destination information. From the TCFS perspective, the event couldn’t have gone better, which was reiterated by US Figure Skating. We are looking at future events for Traverse City as we speak!”

Laurent Masse, Co-chair, 2015 Eastern Great Lakes Regional LOC and Club Director, Traverse City Figure Skating

The Bayshore marathon draws thousands to Traverse City annually for the race along the eastern shore of Old Mission Peninsula. “It’s the biggest racing event in northern Michigan, comparable to the Grand Rapids Marathon. This year the race sold out in ten minutes, with a wait list of close to 2,000.”

Daniel Siderman, Race Director, Traverse City Bayshore Marathon

Traverse City has long been a haven for runners, and now it’s official: The city has been named a Runner Friendly Community by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). “The designation is based on a host of qualifications, including the number of track and trail miles, traffic, safety, even media coverage and the commitment of local government.”

Andy Smith, Program Coordinator, Road Runners Club of America

What Are the Top Venues?

Centre Ice Arena

Centre ICE Building2Sports: Hockey, figure skating, curling

Home to the Traverse City North Stars hockey program, Traverse City Figure Skating Club, Traverse City Curling Club, Detroit Red Wings Training Camp and the NHL Prospect Tournament.  Traverse City’s finest frozen sports venue boasts two ice rinks, one with 1100 seats and the other with 710 seats.  In total, the arena offers 20 locker rooms, four function rooms, a large community room and plenty of space for exhibitors.

Keystone Soccer Complex

Keystone Soccer ComplexSports: Soccer, lacrosse

This venue hosts a multitude of youth soccer and lacrosse tournaments every year. With ample parking and 23 well-maintained fields on 74 acres, it’s not hard to believe that many of the most competitive events take place at Keystone Soccer Complex during the spring, summer and fall months.

Grand Traverse County Civic Center

Front of CC BuildingSports: Swimming, hockey, softball, baseball

Grand Traverse County Civic Center is a 44-acre park featuring seven baseball/softball fields, a skate park, a one-mile walking track, a multipurpose field, basketball courts, an arena, an amphitheater and the indoor Easling Pool.  With some of Traverse City’s primary recreational facilities within its bounds, the Civic Center thrives on its athletic flexibility and entertainment potential.

Vasa Pathway

Vasa2014 MG 2037Sports: Cycling, cross country skiing, running

The Vasa Pathway is a well maintained and groomed trail that features a series of loops (3K, 5K, 10K, 25K) that offer users a number of challenges, ranging from easy to difficult. Cross-country skiers, runners, hikers, mountain bikers, walkers and naturalists enjoy the trail.  It is the home of the North American Vasa Festival of Races – a two-day series of Nordic ski events, and the annual Iceman Cometh Challenge (the largest one-day mountain bike race in the U.S.) uses a portion of the trail.

West Grand Traverse Bay

West Grand Traverse BaySports: Sailing, swimming, stand-up paddleboard, fishing, power boat races

West Grand Traverse Bay is 32 miles long, 10 miles wide and up to 620 feet deep in certain spots. Traverse City sits at the south end of the bay, while a host of other communities populate the surrounding area. The waterfront provides many opportunities for outdoor activity, including fishing and sailing.  It was the perfect location for the Melges 17 National Sailing Championship.

Flintfields Horse Park

Flintfields 2Sports: Horse shows, dog agility

Built in 2007 and the host of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, Flintfields is just 10 miles east of Traverse City. While annually it holds some of the most competitive equine events in the United States, this venue also hosts weddings and concerts. The 84-acre park is ready to host almost any major event.

Grand Traverse County BMX Raceway

track_feature_bgSports: BMX

Grand Traverse County BMX Raceway opened in 1999 as a sanctioned National Bicycle League track prior to the NBL merging with the American Bicycle Association, forming USA BMX.  In the spring of 2013 the track was rebuilt by Lance Maquire Tracks, creating one of the finest biking tracks in the Midwest.  GTC BMX has continued to grow through the years, averaging over 100 riders per race day making it one of the busiest tracks in the State.

West End Beach Volleyball Courts

vollyball 12 (3)Sports: Volleyball, beach rugby

The six volleyball courts at West End Beach famously hosted the 2005 World Cup beach volleyball tournament. Though a beach volleyball haven, located on West Grand Traverse Bay in downtown Traverse City, the area is popular with anyone who enjoys a day in the sun at one of Michigan’s most serene coastal getaways.

How to Get There

By Car: M-22 follows the Lake Michigan shoreline from the north into Traverse City, providing a scenic drive. US-31 runs thru the area, connecting many cities along the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition, M-72 passes east-west through Traverse City.

By Air: Cherry Capital Airport is a full-service commercial airport offering major airline service to over 300 domestic and international destinations.

Cherry on Top: Tremendous Traverse City
Article Name
Cherry on Top: Tremendous Traverse City
The Northern Michigan City combines top sports complexes with some of the most pristine settings for outdoor activities the Midwest has to offer.
Publisher Name
Sports Planning Guide