With historic roots in our country’s founding, the Greater Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts is home to revolutionary towns like Lexington, Concord and Lowell. This picturesque region is the epitome of New England charm, offering a mix of warm accommodations and exciting outdoor adventures. Just minutes away from Boston, Merrimack Valley’s location proves to be ideal for tournaments up and down the East Coast.
On one of the main waterways in New England, the Merrimack Valley offers great options for water sports, as well as plenty of trails for cross country runners. With a number of established cities in the region, tournament planners can choose from several tournament-ready facilities.
The Greater Merrimack Valley CVB (GMVCVB) works closely with rights holders and organizations such as the Massachusetts Sports Partnership and Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office to put together a seamless tournament.
The GMVCVB strives to make tournaments successful and enjoyable. Its dedicated staff is eager to help tournament planners in every aspect of the planning process to ensure tournaments in the region go off without a hitch.
Within the borders of the Merrimack Valley is the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. UMass Lowell has recently been a hockey powerhouse in NCAA Men’s Division I play. The Red Hawks made an appearance in the Frozen Four last spring and will take on top-notch competitors like Notre Dame, Boston College and Quinnipiac this season. The facilities for all of UMass Lowell’s teams are top of the line, providing their athletes with everything they need and more to compete at the highest level.
This multi-use entertainment, convention and sports complex is home to the 2013 Frozen Four Finalists, Division 1 UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey team. It has hosted tournaments like the MIAA Championships in hockey, wrestling and basketball and national cheer and dance competitions. In addition, the Tsongas Center is home to the annual Colonial Classic Synchronized Skating Competition. The arena floor is 17,000 square feet and can seat up to 7,800.
Lowell Cushing Field Complex
Recently renovated with new lighting, turf and seating, the field is home to UMass Lowell Division I s soccer, football and track teams. It is tournament-ready for those sports, plus lacrosse, field hockey and rugby.
Lowell Costello Athletic Center
Home to the UMass Lowell Division I basketball and volleyball programs, the Costello Athletic Center has recently undergone renovations with a new hardwood surface, collapsible bleachers, a scoreboard and sound system. The three-floor center also holds a 25-meter swimming pool.
Edward A. LeLacheur Park
The park can seat up to 4,700 spectators and is home to both the UMass baseball team and the Class A Lowell Spinners, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The park has hosted the NCAA Division II championships and a number of regional tournaments.
The valley’s six nature preserves are some of the most beautiful outdoor areas in the country, especially in the fall. They are spread across the region, from Ashby to Concord. With miles of trails and open spaces, the wildlife management areas can host a picturesque cross country meet. The Merrimack River splits into several small rivers and lakes, offering excellent venues for rowing sports.
Billerica BMX Track
If extreme sports are more your speed, the Merrimack Valley is home to this American Bicycle Association-registered track. The park plays host to a two-day ABA tournament every year and has tracks for beginners all the way up to seasoned veterans.
Lowell Memorial Auditorium
On the banks of the Merrimack River, you’ll find the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Every year this theater is transformed into a Vegas-style boxing ring, drawing hundreds to the auditorium. With adjacent parking, the auditorium can accommodate up to 500 guests.
Attractions & Accommodations
Merrimack Valley’s great outdoor scenery is some of the best in New England. People flock every year to view the fall foliage. Lowell National Historical Park preserves the city’s industrial heritage with exhibits and tours relating to the cotton mills that thrived here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Mass. preserves the landscape of legendary battlefields and lets visitors walk along the Battle Road and the path of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride. The American Textile History Museum is another top attraction. With over 40 hotels in the area, Merrimack Valley is capable of accommodating a tournament of any size.
Accessible from I-93 and I-495, the area is on the border of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, just minutes from Boston. There is a train station in Lowell through the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority. The Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Boston Logan International Airport are about 30 minutes away from most of the Greater Merrimack Valley’s cities.
The CVB has formatted a mobile website accessible on smartphones: m.merrimackvalley.org
ContactGreater Merrimack Valley CVB Deb Belanger, Executive Director 40 French St., Second Floor Lowell, MA 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150, ext. 115 Email: email@example.com www.merrimackvalley.org
−By Marty Hobe