Offering a blend of professional, collegiate, and amateur sporting events and competitions, Bakersfield has become one of California’s top sports travel destinations. And the fact the hotel rooms are often up to 40% cheaper than in other areas doesn’t hurt, either.
Bakersfield is situated at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, in a region with fertile fields, active industry, and a dry and warm climate. Thanks to its high-quality sports venues, delectable food and plentiful lodging options, Bakersfield has hosted and continues to host a number of sports organizations and events. Many of the names will be familiar: NCAA Basketball, ABA BMX, CIF State Championships, AMGEN Tour of California and the National Street Rod Association have all used Bakersfield’s excellent event spaces.
As home to Bakersfield Sports Village—a 16-field complex—four Olympic-size swimming pools and Rabobank Arena, the nation’s 51st largest city has much to offer tournament planners.
At 20,000 square feet, Rabobank Arena can be used for almost any type of sporting tournament. With seating for 10,000 and 26 private suites, there’s ample room for a crowd of fans, and the eight locker rooms give players plenty of space. Rabobank Arena connects to the Rabobank Convention Center, making additional space for practice or staging available. Popular events at the arena include hockey, arena football, wrestling, gymnastics, cheerleading competitions and basketball.
Mesa Marin Sports Complex
This venue has four lit softball fields, concessions, shaded bleacher seating and a parking lot on its landscaped 15 acres.
Bakersfield Sports Village
Although still partially under construction, Bakersfield Sports Village is ready to handle soccer tournaments, thanks to its 12 soccer fields, four football fields (with lighting for nighttime play), concessions, ample parking and Wi-Fi. Other phases, currently in the works, will include four football fields, an indoor gymnasium, 10 baseball/softball fields and a total of 16 soccer fields.
Aera Park includes 11 baseball and softball fields with lighting facilities for nighttime games. It also has bleacher seating for spectators, concessions, ample parking and an attractively landscaped setting.
Kern County Soccer Park
San Joaquin Valley’s largest soccer complex features lit fields and is one of the largest soccer complexes in the state. It offers a total of 24 regulation-sized fields, concessions and eight restrooms bathrooms throughout the complex. Separate tournament facilities and referee buildings are also onsite.
McMutery Aquatic Center
Conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield, McMutery Aquatic Center is the ideal place to host swimming and diving competitions. The facility includes both a recreational pool and a heated Olympic-sized pool that features nine 25-yard lanes and nine 50-yard lanes. In addition, the Olympic pool also boasts a pair of diving boards. The family-friendly recreational pool comes equipped with two water slides, plus areas for diving, water volleyball and interactive play equipment.
Attractions and Accommodations
With 300 days of sun each year, dry warm summers, and relatively mild short winters, Bakersfield’s weather is one of the main attractions for visitors – at least, if you put aside the area’s legendary country music stylings, wide-ranging dining scene, and abundance of spectator sports, including baseball, basketball, hockey, racing, and collegiate sports. It would be tempting to stay inside, watching or playing sports, but that would mean missing the chance to enjoy the natural grandeur of the area. Bakersfield is within easy range of the Greenhorn Mountains, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Kern River Preserve, the Pacific Coast Hiking Trail, and the big trees at Sequoia National Forest.
Restaurants in the Bakersfield area draw on culinary influences from all corners of the planet; you can have anything from Basque dishes to bagel sandwiches without leaving the city limits. With more than 5,000 hotel rooms available – and rates much cheaper than in other areas in the Golden State – finding the right room for your tour group shouldn’t be an issue. Every type of lodging is within reach, from national chains with budget prices to sleekly sophisticated local hotels.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Bakersfield is just 15 minutes east of I-5, midway between Los Angeles and Fresno. It’s on Amtrak’s San Joaquin Route if you choose rail travel; if you prefer to fly in, you can choose from Los Angeles International Airport (118 miles to the south) or Fresno Yosemite International Airport (114 miles to the north). Or minimize your travel time and use Bakersfield’s own Meadows Field Airport, which is served by United and US Airways.
The sales and marketing team at Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau will work with you to plan your event. Contact them for assistance in booking and discounts to local attractions and for local PR assistance.
Each year, thousands of people visit Bakersfield to play sports, participate in tournaments, or simply to cheer on their favorite team. Contact the Bakersfield CVB today and find out what their top-notch facilities and local expertise can do for your next event.