Organizing a sports event isn’t easy. There are a lot of factors that go into finding the perfect location for a tournament. The right venues, convenient accommodations, fun attractions. The list goes on. Luckily, Emporia, Kansas gives sports planners a winning hand.
The athletic facilities, supportive community and enviable outdoor spaces make Emporia an ideal destination for a sports event. With plenty of activities to keep your athletes and guests entertained between matches, and numerous lodging and dining options, planning a successful sports event in Emporia is easy.
What is there to do in Emporia, Kansas?
In between the athletic action, Emporia, Kansas dishes out a healthy dose of fun, excitement, history, culture and outdoor adventures. In the mood for a history lesson? Head over to the Lyon County History Center. There, you can discover the natural history of the region, learn about the first inhabitants of Lyon County, and see how settlements evolved through the years. Be sure to check out the Howe House and Welsh Farmstead, which offers a glimpse into the lives of people who lived there more than 100 years ago. If you’re into fossils, make your way over to Johnston Geology Museum. The facility houses geological specimens predominantly from Kansas, including the western Cretaceous mosasaur, a giant ground sloth, a mastodon tusk and many others.
If you’d like to get a personal tour of the area, sign up for one of the Prairie Earth Tours. These bus tours will take you into the beautiful Flint Hills, around the downtown area, to local breweries and much more. You can even request a custom tour for your group based on your interests. If you prefer the freedom of a self-guided tour, check out the Mural Tour of Downtown Emporia. This self-guided walking or driving tour takes guests through the city to show them all the magnificent artwork created on buildings and walls throughout Emporia.
The David Traylor Zoo is a perfect place to bring the family. It’s one of the smallest accredited zoos in the country. It contains close to 400 specimens representing more than 80 species, including lemurs, bald eagles, mountain lions, prairie dogs and more. Kids will love spending a few hours at the Emporia Family Fun Center. Open from March to November, the fun center offers mini golf, go-karts and batting cages.
Shopping enthusiasts will find no shortage of great shops in Emporia. There are plenty of places to pick up vintage and antique items, including Poehler Merchantile Antique Mall, Mike’s Attic and European Antiques and Upholstery. If you prefer contemporary items, you can head over to Flinthills Mall to peruse popular franchises and specialty stores.
Let us connect you with Emporia CVB
- Emporia is located on I-35 between the major metropolitan centers of Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City.
- Emporia is known as a sports destination. Home to the Dirty Kanza 200 Bike Race, Glass Blown Open Disc Golf Tournament, city hosts sports of all kinds.
- Emporia’s population is just under 26,000.
- Emporia is home to Emporia State University, the National Teachers Hall of Fame, the new Memorial to Fallen Educators, and is the official Founding City of Veterans Day as designated by the US Congress in 2003.
- Emporia has nearly 800 hotel rooms between 15 hotels. Its transient guest tax is 7 percent in addition to the current local and state sales tax of 8.5 percent.
Had the best week of disc golf ever! Thank you Dynamic Discs and the town of Emporia for your wonderful hospitality!
–Bill Bruce, Disc Golfer, 2017 Glass Blown Open
Thanks DD and everyone in Emporia. Fantastic town, great people and a whole bunch of memories made. This group of Canadians sure had fun!
–Jake Witt, Disc Golfer, 2017 Glass Blown Open
Where most cities fight disc golf, Emporia embraces it, and all of us weird people that love it. It’s one thing to have a good tournament, it’s something totally different for an entire town to roll out the red carpet for players. The experience is unlike anything else, and it made me come back again. Thank you to everybody in Emporia who makes GBO a great experience for all of us ‘Frisbee chucking hippies’, and for making us all feel so welcome. Until next year…
–Andrew Carrillo, Disc Golfer, 2017 Glass Blown Open
Emporia Sports Facilities
Sports: Track and field, football
Located on the Emporia State University Campus, the stadium is the official home of the ESU Hornets track and field and football teams. It features new turf and a track, installed in 2016, and has the capacity to seat 8,500 spectators. It has hosted many NCAA DII National Track and Field Championships.
Sports: Basketball, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics
Also known as the Civic Auditorium, White Auditorium is home to the Emporia State University men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team. This climate-controlled auditorium is ideal for large sports events. High school teams travel from across Kansas to compete here in tournaments of every size. The stadium seats 5,000 spectators, and features multiple concession stations and plenty of restrooms. It has hosted the KSHSAA State basketball and volleyball championships.
Trusler Sports Complex
Sports: Baseball and softball
The complex, completed in 1992, has undergone a number of renovations over the years to become one of the most modern and elite sports venues in Emporia. The stadium hosts the ESU and EHS baseball and softball teams. The facility consists of Glennen Field, where the Hornets play their home baseball games, and Turnbull Field, where the Emporia State Softball team plays their games. In addition, three other fields are part of the Trusler Sports Complex.
TRYSA Soccer Complex
Sports: Soccer and flag football
The TRYSA Soccer Complex is a popular Emporia sports venue that hosts recreational soccer and flag football leagues throughout the year. The venue has 16 fields, all varying in size for different age groups and skill levels. It also has two flag football fields.
Peter Pan Park Disc Golf Course
Sports: Disc golf
Peter Pan Park has been a gem of the Emporia community for nearly 100 years. In the last few years, the park acquired a top-notch, and extremely challenging, 18-hole disc golf course.
Jones Park Disc Golf Courses
Sports: Disc golf
Jones Park is home to two of Emporia’s most famous disc golf courses. Jones East offers players long fairways, three water shots and numerous trees. This course is used annually for the Glass Blown Open Tournament, and was the site of the 2016 Professional Disc Golf Association Pro World Championships. Jones West has gently rolling hills with water in play on five holes and multiple trees to create more of a challenge.
Emporia Country Club Golf & Disc Golf Course
Sports: Disc golf and golf
Renowned as one of the premier championship disc golf courses in the country, the Emporia Country Club is home to the annual Triology Oppna and the Glass Blown Open. The course has arguably the toughest finishing holes of any disc golf course. It includes the signature 17th water hole, two par 5s and an island green all within the last three holes.
How Do You Get to Emporia, Kansas?
With its convenient location in Eastern Kansas, just an hour and a half drive from Wichita and Kansas City, Emporia is easy to reach from pretty much anywhere in the country.
By Air: Teams and spectators can fly into the Kansas City International Airport (160 miles from Emporia), the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (95 miles from Emporia) or Forbes Field Airport in Topeka (60 miles from Emporia). These airports are served by most major airlines and offer daily service from numerous cities throughout the country.
By Car: Emporia is situated at the crossroads of I-35, the Kansas Turnpike and U.S. Highway 50, making it relatively easy to reach by car from nearly anywhere.