Chicago Southland counts 250 soccer fields, 172 baseball/softball fields, 160 basketball courts, 65 holes of disc golf, eight ice hockey rinks and over 600 holes of golf, making it the perfect place for your next sports competition.
Just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, the Chicago Southland region has hosted many sports events including Nike Spring Showdown AAU/NCAA Sanctioned Basketball Events; IMG Academy 7v7 Midwest Regional Championship; Chicagoland Lacrosse Getaway Festival; United States Adult Soccer Association National Cups Finals; U.S. Open Pro Mini Golf Tournament; Southland Regatta & Cochrane and Jablonic Cups collegiate rowing events.
Host of the Chicago Fire professional soccer team, Toyota Park in Bridgeview is a 469,000-square-foot-venue with 20,000 seats and a regulation-size soccer field. There are also regulation-size natural grass and AstroTurf fields. Last year, the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau coordinated the United States Adult Soccer Association’s National Cups Tournament at Toyota Park and on its practice fields.
Chicago Gaelic Park
Set on 65 acres, Chicago Gaelic Park in Oak Forest is a championship stadium with six fields and 2,000 seats, hosting rugby, soccer, lacrosse and other events.
Matteson Community Center
The Matteson Community Center is a new 73,000-square-foot, vibrant orange-colored facility with a variety of venues including two indoor basketball courts, two baseball diamonds, one soccer field and a football field with seating.
Ho-Chunk Sports Complex
The Ho-Chunk Sports Complex in Lynwood offers up to 100,000 square feet of indoor space, plus outdoor baseball fields. The complex has three indoor soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and over 1,200 parking spots.
Midlothian Baseball Fields
Newly installed, the five baseball/softball diamonds in Midlothian are lighted and offer skinned infields and up to 80-foot bases. The fields are unique because of their offset configuration. There are picnic tables and bleachers. The Midlothian Park District is in the process of installing concession stands.
Attractions and Accommodations
Catch Windy City Thunderbolts minor league baseball at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. The Southland is known as having the best golf in the region. The area has 35 public golf courses, from beginner to championship. Off the field, the Chicago Southland has many unique environments that provide a prime place to unwind. Local shops, large regional malls and specialty restaurants keep everyone happy when they’re off the field. Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery is a kid-friendly brewpub that is housed in a 1906 Illinois Central rail station. Featuring original brickwork and archival photos, this restaurant is a place to enjoy heartland-style food and discover history. It was named the best small brewery in 2006. The Old Caboose Ice Cream Shoppe, housed on the back patio in a restored Illinois Central caboose, serves gelato from spring to fall. The region also features fun parks like Haunted Trails Family Amusement Center in Burbank, Hollywood Park Family Entertainment Center in Crestwood, Dave & Buster’s in Orland Park and Odyssey Fun World in Tinley Park.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Easily accessible, Chicago Southland has seven interstates that crisscross the region − I-55, I-57, I-80, I-90, I-94, I-294, and I-355. The area encompasses Midway International Airport, and O’Hare International Airport is nearby. It’s no challenge to find somewhere to stay in Chicago’s Southland. There are over 6,000 hotel rooms in nearly 70 hotels, including major chains like Holiday Inn and Hilton.
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau can bring the event together by locating hotels, providing a match marketing grant up to $7,500, assisting with pre/post PR, creating welcome banners, providing signs and kits (visitors guides and local coupons), as well as creating a promotional video before or after the event. Check out past promo videos here. During the Nike Spring Showdown AAU/NCAA Sanctioned Basketball Events, Chicago Southland worked with coordinators for marketing and finding hotels for 200-400 teams, and with park and school districts to provide basketball courts. Chicago Southland also coordinated news coverage and video production.
By Becky Neems