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.
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.
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.
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
An Impressive Collection of Sports Venues
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.