Columbia is conveniently located between Kansas City and St. Louis at Interstate 70 and Highway 63. Just 30 minutes away from state capital Jefferson City and an hour from the Lake of the Ozarks, Columbia’s central location makes for easy access from all areas of the region. Combine that convenience with fantastic facilities and a supportive community and you’ll find that Columbia is an ideal place to host your sporting event!
Green Tennis Center
Green Tennis Center is the only indoor/outdoor tennis club within 100 miles of Columbia. The center has eight tennis courts and hosts tournaments, ladders, socials/mixers and USTA tournaments. Green Tennis Center is scheduled to host the 2014 SEC tennis championships.
The University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center, which was voted the toughest place to play volleyball in the Big 12, is a multi-purpose arena that seats almost 14,000 people. In addition to hosting the school’s nationally-ranked wrestling and volleyball teams, the center is also home to Mizzou’s gymnastics and indoor track and field teams. The Hearnes Fieldhouse continuously hosts the Missouri Open and has also hosted Big Eight and Big 12 wrestling championships. Hearnes Fieldhouse is also a site for concerts, conventions, trade shows and sports festivals.
Seating more than 15,000, this is the University of Missouri’s main indoor facility. Mizzou Arena hosts the school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as wrestling and basketball championships for the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
Mizzou Aquatic Center
Mizzou Aquatic Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a heated 50-meter by 25-yard pool, a 25-yard diving pool, and several spring boards and platforms. Spectators can take advantage of the center’s digital record board and full-color video boards, one of which is for divers. The Mizzou Aquatic Center hosts both diving and swimming championships, as well as USA Swimming events such as the Missouri Grand Prix.
Mizzou Athletics Training Complex
This more than 101,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, home for the Tiger football program, offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive training programs. It includes the Yeckel Training Center, which has a Sports Nutrition Oasis, a 13,000-square-foot workout area with state-of-the-art training equipment.
Columbia Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation department offers various sporting venues. It also can set your group up with park pavilions and meeting rooms. Woodland Park and Fairview Park have tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball courts, shelters and picnic areas.
Columbia College, a NAIA school, has excellent sporting facilities for basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. The Southwell Complex comprises the Arena of Southwell Complex and the Courts of Southwell Complex, both of which host the school’s volleyball, basketball and tennis. Recently renovated and carpeted locker rooms include flat-screen TVs and a high-tech sound system. Also part of the Southwell Complex is the Southy Building, which offers a fitness center, turf room and a 1,000-square-foot athletic training room. The college also has the R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium and Antimi Softball Complex.
Attractions & Accommodations
If the family needs time away from the field, they’ll find plenty to do at the Columbia Mall, a premier shopping mall comprising 140 stores and a food court. Other points of interest include the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, Jesse Auditorium, the University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Ragtag Cinema. There are more than 30 hotels in Columbia, ranging from small, affordable units offering simple amenities to large four-star hotel chains. With well over 100 restaurants, you’ll never have to disappoint a family member or your own palate. Room 38 has affordable prices for delicious cuisine. Also check out Sparky’s, which has the best ice cream in the area, and Shakespeare’s Pizza. Whether it’s pub grub, sushi, Asian food, Mexican tacos or seafood, Columbia has it all.
Getting There & Getting Around
Columbia is located about 70 miles from Greater St. Louis and 100 miles from metropolitan Kansas City. The Columbia Regional Airport offers daily, non-stop flights to and from major cities like Chicago and Dallas.
The Columbia Parks and Recreation department is an excellent source of information on various activities in the community, including sporting events, classes, rentals, programs and community recreation. Columbia’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, a participant in the Tourism Ambassador Institute’s Certified Tourism Ambassador program, is currently certifying hundreds of individuals, including emergency service personnel, hospitality workers and volunteers. This is intended to ensure that visitors are welcomed and provided with updated information while they’re in the community for their event. The CVB sports development team provides funding for events; funding is contingent on filling out an application and meeting specific criteria. Columbia also has excellent medical facilities and athletic trainers.