Conveniently located on the edge of O’Hare International Airport and four hours away from anywhere in the continental U.S., Chicago’s Northwest is bustling with elite sporting facilities, affordable hotels, free parking, and a wide range of activities, creating the perfect environment for your various tournament needs.
As part of a larger area that encompasses five major American professional sports franchises, this area is a haven for youth sports participation.
Notable Recent/Upcoming Events
- GWN Dragon Boat – Chicago International Festival – July 28, 2018 – Busse Woods
- Common Goals Memorial Day Soccer Challenge – May 24-27, 2019 – Olympic Park
- Nike Fall Classic – October 5-7, 2018 – Olympic Park
- USA Karate- July 9-14, 2019 – Schaumburg Convention Center
CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered
- Volunteer Staff
- PR/Media Assistance
- Site Visits
- Transportation Assistance
- Lodging Services
- Grant Programs
- Welcome Bags/Gifts
- Itinerary Development
- Event Planning Assistance
Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility
- Olympic Park
- Schaumburg Convention Center
- Harper College
- Melas Park Athletic Complex
- Odeum Expo Center
- Busse Woods
- The Sport Center
This 72-acre sports venue features five softball fields, two full-size basketball courts, a 15,000-square-foot skate park, eight lighted synthetic turf sports fields with a polyethylene infill system designed for fields that experience extremely high levels of use, two natural grass sports fields, and up to 17 available soccer fields for tournament play. Having hosted thousands of sports tournaments including the Nike Fall Classic in 2017 and the Common Goals Memorial Day Soccer Challenge in May of 2019, Olympic Park is equipped with two concession stands and 700 available parking spots.
Sports: Soccer, softball, baseball, football, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby
Schaumburg Convention Center
This 100,000-square-foot convention center has the capability to configure into multiple floor plans to accommodate a wide range of sporting events. Located 12 miles from O’Hare International Airport, the convention center offers free on-site parking and is connected to 500 guest rooms and suites at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel for athletes and spectators traveling from out of town. The facility recently hosted the USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials in July of 2019.
Sports: Cheerleading, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, wrestling
Located in Palatine, Harper College offers a fitness center, field house, aquatics center, and more. The 10,000-square-foot Fitness Center underwent a complete transformation and now features more than 35 cardio machines, free weights, a Life Fitness Synrgy360 multipurpose training hub and more. The Field House is equipped with four courts for basketball, pickleball, volleyball, or badminton and a suspended one-eighth of a mile jogging track. The Aquatics Center features six ADA accessible lanes with two pool lifts.
Sports: Soccer, cross country, track and field, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis
Melas Park Athletic Complex
In 2012 Melas Park upgraded their four lighted softball/baseball fields to synthetic turf. This upgrade increased players’ safety and decreased the amount of rain delays, bringing in tournaments like the 2019 Arlington Turf Classic for 9U-14U baseball, which was held in April of 2019. The complex is also equipped with one soccer field, two sand volleyball courts, a picnic area and concession stand, a 1.82-acre dog park called Canine Commons, and a 1.3-mile walking path around the vicinity.
Sports: Football, soccer, baseball, softball
Odeum Expo Center
With the capability to hold anywhere from 500-5,500 spectators, this 130,000-square-foot multipurpose venue can be converted to fit a multitude of different events. The Odeum hosted the 6th Annual MLK Jr. Day Soccer tournament in January of 2019. The facility features three complete fields for indoor soccer or inline hockey, eight locker rooms, lighted and automatic scoreboards, clear Plexiglas boards, and two turf fields.
Sports: Indoor soccer, inline hockey, boxing, wrestling, karate, baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, gymnastics, BMX racing, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading, skateboarding
The 3,500-acre Busse Woods, formally known as the Ned Brown Preserve, surround one of Cook County’s largest bodies of water. Diverse landscapes with various bike trials for athletic training and competition include an eight-mile paved loop. Busse Woods is available for fishing and deep-fishing year-round and allows the use of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and sailboats. Four of the six fishing walls are equipped with wheelchair ramps to the parking area. Busse Woods hosted the GNW Dragon Boat- Chicago International Festival in the summer of 2018 and again in 2019.
Sports: Biking, boating, fishing, hiking
The Sport Center
This 110,000 square-foot building includes four basketball courts, six volleyball courts, two soccer fields (convertible to one softball/baseball field) and a gymnastic center.
Sports: Badminton, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, wrestling, pickleball, gymnastics, cheer/dance
Things to do in Chicago Northwest
The state-of-the-art sports facilities aren’t all Chicago Northwest has to offer. In your down time visit the Woodfield Mall. Illinois’ largest shopping destination is conveniently located just 40 minutes west of Chicago; with 2 million square feet the mall features nearly 300 retail shops, restaurants, and family-friendly amenities. While you’re there, dine in at PAC-MAN Entertainment. This restaurant allows you to follow PAC-MAN to a magical land of inter-dimensions with shareable foods, multiplayer games with nostalgic throwbacks, a ‘80s arcade classic Rolling Thunder bowling alley and more.
After an afternoon at the mall, take a trip to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament for staged medieval-style games, including sword-fighting, and jousting. Purchasing a ticket gains you access to a four-course meal, a two-hour medieval jousting tournament, six competing knights, real weapons, beautiful horses, and the live flight of the royal falcon. The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament allows you to travel through time as you take on the role of the queen’s guest 10 centuries ago. For the younger spectators, take a quick trip over to LEGOLAND Discovery Center to find two rides and 10 LEGO build play zones. Navigate around the city of Chicago with a replica made with LEGOs. Another feature includes The Great LEGO Race VR Experience with a 360-video, immersing guests into the virtual world as they race against several LEGO MINIFIGURE competitors across a rocky mountain, rolling river, and hot lava. Additionally, there is a LEGO 4D Cinema, Kingdom Quest, Merlin’s Apprentice ride, the ability to meet your favorite LEGO characters, a LEGO Star Wars episode, LEGO Friends HEARTLAKE City, Pirate Adventure Island, LEGO Jungle Expedition, LEGO Master Building Academy, LEGO Racers: Build and Test and much more.
Your day will fly by at the Arlington International Racecourse as you bet on the horses galloping by on the complex’s upgraded synthetic-and turf raceways. The facility offers club seating on the upper levels, bleacher seating on the concourse and a wide range of dining options. Visit the paddock to see the horses up close before they trot out for their race. Whether you’re looking to sit back and enjoy this unique environment, or dive into the statistics and start betting on your favorite horses, there is something to keep everyone entertained.
GWN Dragon Boat has been lucky to call Meet Chicago Northwest a partner for four years. From the initial stages of finding a venue, through to the marketing and development of our annual event, the team at Meet Chicago Northwest has taken an active role in assisting us. The services and insight they provide make them a valuable addition to our team and have elevated our path to success. The Meet Chicago Northwest team provides first-rate services for a world-class market.
GWN Dragon Boat, Walgreens International Dragon Boat Festival: Aaron Soroka
The Meet Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau is AMAZING! Melinda and her team are a fantastic help in all aspects of the event contracting process. They are available and eager to help from the earliest stages, and are a great resource for sending out our RFP, consolidating hotel responses, following up when needed and helping to pull all of the final details together. They are personal and informative and put a lot of heart felt effort into making sure the event attendees are both familiar with the area and have a great time while they are in town. We are so happy to be regularly working with their team and truly love handling events in the Chicago Northwest area!
Team Travel Source: April Laframboise
How to Get to Chicago Northwest
By Car: Chicago Northwest is within a day’s drive of most major Midwest cities, including Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, among others. The area sits along the intersection of highways I-90 and 290, which connect to a range of roadways throughout Chicago Northwest, making it easy to access from nearly anywhere.
By Plane: Chicago Northwest is served by O’Hare International Airport. It is a major hub for American Airlines and United Airlines, plus dozens of other international and regional airlines. O’Hare offers direct service to over 200 destinations, making it easy for most people to reach without any layovers.
Company Name: Meet Chicago Northwest
Sports Sales Manager: Melinda Garritano, CSEE
Title: Senior Account Executive