Flint Welcomes Athletes with Open Arms

Home to Olympic gold medalists and standout athletes of all ages, Flint, Michigan continues to up its game in the world of sports.

Home to Olympic gold medalists and standout athletes of all ages, Flint, Michigan continues to up its game in the world of sports.

Strong cities breed strong athletes. And in Flint and Genesee County, this is evident in the hardworking residents, friendly atmosphere and high-quality venues perfect for athletes from across the country. Flint is the home of (2012 and 2016) two-time Olympic gold medalist boxer Claressa Shields and two other Olympic boxing medalists–Chris Byrd and Andre Dirrell. Turning out talent and continuing to foster an athletic lifestyle among all generations, Flint and Genesee County play host to multiple sporting events big and small.

What is there to do in Flint and Genesee County?

Flint and the surrounding area take pride in their reputation as a family-friendly destination, making it a perfect place to host a sporting event. For athletes, parents and all family members, you’ll want to make sure there is plenty to keep everyone happy. In Flint, no need to worry. You can focus on planning your event and the attractions will take care of themselves.

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Genesee County Park is home to Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad. With over 11,000 acres, Genesee County Parks and Recreation is the largest county park system in the state. The historical working village has a steam-engine passenger train that travels alongside Mott Lake, and visitors can travel back in time on the Genesee Belle, an old-fashioned paddleboat. Among the park’s sprawling acres you’ll also find beaches, an equestrian center, a nature preserve, hiking trails and campgrounds. Your team will be amazed by the Tree House that was built by Treehouse Masters at the For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum.

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Flint Cultural Center includes the Sloan Museum, Longway Planetarium, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Institute of Music, Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Youth Theater and The Whiting performing arts venue. Fun and education wrapped into one, the center is a great place to head in any weather. If you are in the area between late August and October, be sure to check out the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Each weekend’s theme offers magic and mayhem along with plenty of sweets and treats.

Flint, as the birthplace of General Motors, celebrates its automotive heritage in mid-August with Back to the Bricks Cruise and Car Show, which features four weekends of tune-up parties in the suburbs, followed by five days of cruising. Head to the concert and dance party on Friday night to see the local scene come alive. On Saturday the downtown streets are closed and jam-packed with beautifully restored cars parked on the longest continuous expanse of original bricked pavement in the country. In September Bikes on the Bricks comes to Flint and is always a town favorite. Starting on a Friday, a police obstacle competition opens the festivities and on Saturday a police escorted ride ends downtown as hundreds of bikes make their way to the evening entertainment. Food, vendors, a beer tent and live entertainment all await at one of Flint’s most popular events.

Water Crisis Recovery

The situation with the City of Flint’s water continues to be on the minds of people statewide and across the nation. As residents and employees who live and/or work within the city, we understand, firsthand, visitor’s concerns. The Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) continues to work hard to position our region as a desirable destination for overnight visitors by providing accurate information so tournament directors, schools and parents can make informed decisions, just as we have in our personal lives.

Of the area’s nationally recognized, name-brand lodging facilities, all but one are located outside the City of Flint and are served by completely separate municipal water systems. Most of the sporting facilities in the area also are located outside of the city. Those within the city sell bottled water as do all large arenas around the country.

Moreover, establishments served by the City of Flint municipal water system, including lodging, restaurants and attractions, have implemented the appropriate measures to safeguard their drinking water while the city government moves forward with replacing waterlines in the affected areas.

Our community continues to offer an array of wonderful and exciting activities for visiting teams to experience as well as the personal service we have come to be known for. Flint & Genesee County is open for business and we are waiting to assist you in making your next event the best experience yet for your sports participants and families.

Click the Instant Info Logo to let us connect you with Flint & Genesee CVB

Mona Murphy, CSEE

Sports Sales Manager

Phone: 810-600-1453

Email: mmurphy@flintandgenesee.org

Website: www.FlintandGenesee.org

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X Factors

CVB Services make tournament directors, teams, parents and spectators feel right at home, with:

  • Site visits
  • Marketing assistance for events
  • Housing RFPs and room block placement
  • Bid fees considered
  • Connections to businesses for goods and service
  •  Local attraction and festival info provided
  •  Volunteers available for large events

Planner Perspective

The Flint and Genesee County area host the annual Firestix Girls Softball College Exposure Tournament combined with a one-day skills clinic. We have attracted between 96-108 teams consistently over the last five years. The support we receive from Mona Murphy and the team at the F&G CVB is phenomenal. They ‘get’ what I need as a busy tournament director and take a great deal of responsibility off my shoulders. The creative marketing support, hotel block management, knowledge of local attractions and personal service to my teams and their parents is tantamount to a successful tournament. Their dependability and professionalism is without question. While I have been offered a number of free fields to move my tournament to another city, I choose to remain in the Flint and Genesee County area. With the assistance of the CVB, I started a second tournament, the Firestix Fall Ren-Fest, which coincides with the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Strong dependable relationships in this business are priceless to me.

– Kevin Babcock, Tournament Director of Firestix Girls Softball College Exposure Tournament

The CCWHA Championship Playoffs were held at either Crystal Fieldhouse or Iceland Arena for our 2014-2016 seasons. I personally worked closely with Mona Murphy from the Flint and Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau over the course of three years. Her assistance in hotel selection, managing room blocks, locating convenient meeting space and service to our teams and families was extremely helpful in holding a successful championship. When news of the Flint water crisis broke nationally in January of 2016, several colleges, coaches and our board were concerned enough to find an alternate location at which to hold our February 2016 tournament. Mona Murphy contacted me right away and listened to our concerns. She assured me that the hotels and arena we were using were located in the suburbs outside of the city’s water crisis area and none used the same source of water as the city. More importantly, she emailed me information from credible sources to disseminate to our board. We were able to make an informed decision and held our 2016 championships in the Flint area as planned.

 Molly Mahoney, Commissioner of the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association

We are one of the many Canadian teams that crosses the border to play in the Vehicle City International Old Timers Hockey Tournament started by Bill Everett. The arena staff treat us like kings, the hotels embrace us, the restaurants & pubs are great fun and our significant others love to shop till they drop. The staff at the Flint and Genesee CVB always go out their way to welcome us. Last year, after I asked about resale and antique shops, I received a long list from Mona at the CVB. When there was concern about the water crisis, she sent documentation about the hotels’ source of water to show that we were not staying in an area of concern. She knows that hockey players enjoy celebrating a great game by raising a glass or two and always reminds us to ‘Be Safe’. She has made shuttle arrangements for us in the past and reminds us who to contact should we need assistance while exploring the community. Bill Everette has left us now and his daughter, Annette, organizes the tournament in his honor. We appreciate being looked after so well and look forward to coming back April 2017.

– Bill Solomon, Solomon’s Canadiens & Solomon’s North American Old Timers Teams

Jeremy Crowe (LOC) and Mona Murphy, from the Flint & Genesee CVB, were very easy to work with and really made us feel as though this was the kind of place, with the right kind of people that anyone would want to visit. In fact, because of the experience, we really want to hold another event there next year. The river really was beautiful. Most people wouldn’t think that a river up in Flint is that scenic, but we were shockingly surprised by the scenery and fishing! Tenacity Brewing, our end of event awards location, was a very cool place. I had one of the best IPA beers I’ve ever had at Tenacity! The outside area with fire pit, cornhole and other games was a ton of fun! Plus, the tent they had set up allowed us to continue even though there was a threat of rain. Everyone we met was very friendly and again it is one reason we will be back. The laid back, fun loving people of Michigan made it an easy place to hold an event.

– Drew Gregory, Tour Founder, River Bassin Tournament Trail

An Impressive Collection of Sports Venues

Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center

Saginaw Spirit vs Flint FirebirdsSports: Hockey, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, softball

This storied venue has been a Flint and Genesee staple for quality entertainment, community gatherings and recreation for nearly 50 years.  In just the last few years nearly $5 million has been invested into upgrading the facility.  The event center is home to the OHL’s Flint Firebirds,  features two arenas, with the main arena able to accommodate upwards of 6,000 spectators, over 50,000 square feet of combined exhibit space, VIP room, private meeting space, concessions and ample parking on site.

Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena

Sports: Hockey, skating

One of three Genesee County arenas, Crystal Fieldhouse is a tournament favorite. It   has 2 sheets of ice with plenty of spectator seating, locker rooms, a bar and grill, snack bar and meeting space.

Flint Iceland Arena

Sports: Baseball, hockey, lacrosse, skating, soccer, softball

Iceland Arena has two turf fields in addition to one sheet of ice. Concessions and locker rooms keep fans and athletes happy, while the ample space makes for a great hosting option.

Atwood Stadium

In August 2015, Kettering University completed revitalization of Atwood Stadium. The revitalization marked the return of high school athletics and community events to the historic venue. Kettering selected FieldTurf Inc., the nation’s leading provider of professional artificial playing surfaces, to install the same turf used at Ford Field in Detroit and Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor in Atwood Stadium. This new surface will permit Atwood to host professional and NCAA sports, as well as local athletic events. The Atwood field also will be striped and widened to accommodate the regulation surfaces required by other sports, such as soccer and lacrosse.Sports: Football, lacrosse

Another local hero, 2009 Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram, played to several sold out crowds in this stadium located on the campus of Kettering University. This historic stadium seats 11,000 and boasts a new state the art field that is striped for both football and lacrosse. New lighting ensures that events continue well into the evening at this conveniently located stadium just outside downtown Flint.

Creasy Bicentennial Park

creasy-bicentennial-park-soccerSports: Baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, in-line hockey

While athletes take the field on one of the park’s 10 ball fields or four soccer/lacrosse fields, visitors and spectators can enjoy the splash pad, picnic areas with grills, paved and natural walking paths and a concession stand. Creasy Bicentennial Park has two outdoor basketball courts and an in-line hockey area that are currently under construction. The park also features modern bathrooms, two playgrounds, a dog park and a seasonal sledding hill.  At over 200 acres, it is one of the biggest parks in lower Genesee County and is within three miles of US 23, I-75, and downtown Grand Blanc.

Genesee Fieldhouse

november-baseball1Sports: Baseball, soccer, softball

When winter hits, sports don’t stop in Flint and Genesee. Take your events indoors to the Genesee Fieldhouse, which is well equipped for various sports. Genesee Fieldhouse located in Grand Blanc, right off US 23 and near I-75, provides easy access for teams and individuals from throughout the region. Standing at 65′ tall and 70,000 square feet the facility can provide a unique experience for any event. The facility is insulated and heated and is competitively priced for rental opportunities throughout the year. We offer tournament directors a variety of field options to accommodate various event needs. Genesee Fieldhouse can be formatted to house three regulation 7 v 7 soccer fields, two 9 v 9 fields, and one regulation 11 v 11 field, two baseball fields (8U – 12U), two fields of softball, one 60 x 90 baseball field. The field dimensions are 71 yards x 104 yards. Genesee Fieldhouse specializes in youth and adult soccer leagues/tournaments, youth baseball and softball leagues/tournaments and flag football. It is the areas only indoor golf driving range.

Richfield Park BMX

Sports: BMX

BMX racers rejoice – this local track is popular in the region and has hosted state and regional competitors. It was selected to host the BMX Great Lakes Nationals in 2012.

Davison Community Enrichment and Recreation

Sports: Baseball, football, softball

Ten miles east of Flint in the town of Davison, this rec center offers a large space that can be tailored to your athletes’ needs and is a great place for a variety of field sports.

Lake Callis Recreation Complex

Sports: Sand volleyball, paddle boarding, pathways

The Lake Callis Recreation Complex is as scenic as it is functional. Six NCAA-rated sand volleyball courts sit on 40 acres, along with a beautiful sandy beach, splash pad, pavilion, snack bar, bike paths and paddle board rental. Athletes and spectators alike will love the added amenities.

Genesys Athletic Club

Sports: Basketball, multi-purpose gymnasium, racquetball, swimming, tennis

This club is home to a variety of sports facilities, including a multi-purpose gym and 11 Decorturf-surfaced championship courts with privacy nets that make a great option for tennis matches.

How do we get to Flint and Genesee County?

Flint’s central location, international airport and easy interstate access from all directions make it an ideal destination for travel sports.

By Car: Flint lies about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. I-475 runs north-south through Flint, with I-69 running east-west. Cities such as Lansing, Toledo and Columbus are within a reasonable driving distance. Also consider train and bus options connecting Flint and Detroit.

By Air: Flint’s airport is serviced by Delta, United, Southwest, American Eagle and budget-friendly Allegiant Air. Detroit’s international airport is another option.

Summary
Flint Welcomes Athletes with Open Arms
Article Name
Flint Welcomes Athletes with Open Arms
Description
Home to Olympic gold medalists and standout athletes of all ages, Flint, Michigan continues to up its game in the world of sports.
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Premier Travel Media

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