Selecting a destination for your sports event requires careful consideration of all a particular region has to offer. This includes everything from the variety of food that athletes and their families choose to the exciting list of entertainment ideas for time spent off the field. You want a place that has it all: the venues, the fun, the food, the culture. Huntsville and Madison County have you covered. Our innovative, vibrant city has been ranked among the top 10 places to live in the county by U.S. News, one of the “52 Places to Go in 2019” by The New York Times and is an ideal, convenient location for planners looking for an area that exudes professionalism and a passion for sports.
Notable Recent/Upcoming Events
- Alabama High School wrestling championships, Propst Arena, (Feb. 14-16, 2019)
- Alabama High School soccer championships, John Hunt Park, (May 10-11, 2019)
- Alabama State Games, multiple venues, (June 7-8, 2019)
- USTA Girls 16s National Clay Court Championships, Athletic Club Alabama, (July 13-20, 2019)
- Huntsville Championship Korn Ferry Tour Pro Golf Tournament, The Ledges, (April 20-26, 2020)
CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered
- Event Planning Assistance
- Grant Programs
- Itinerary Development
- Mobile Apps
- Lodging Services
- PR/Media Assistance
- Site Visits
- Transportation Assistance
- Volunteer Staff
- Welcome Bags/Gifts
Click on tab to see more information about a specific facility
- Huntsville Aquatics Center
- John Hunt Park
- Huntsville Tennis Center and Athletic Club Alabama
- Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove
- Von Braun Center & Propst Arena
- Louis Crews Stadium
- Milton Frank Stadium
- Rocket City Trash Pandas Stadium
- Wilcoxon Iceplex
Huntsville Aquatics Center
The Huntsville Aquatics Center opened in 2017 and immediately made a splash nationally. It is unique with its two 50-meter indoor competition pools under the same roof, and the largest pool has spectator seating for more than 1,400, deck space seating for more than 400 competitors. The other amenities – locker rooms, meeting space, an instructional/therapeutic pool – are first-rate, and designers emphasized a state-of-the-art ventilation system that leaves the air clear of a stifling chlorine smell.
Sports: Swimming, Diving
John Hunt Park
John Hunt Park is the centerpiece of nearly 1,000 acres of recreational facilities in the geographical center of Huntsville. John Hunt Park has hosted the Alabama High School Soccer Championships since 2001 at its two lush championship fields, with seating for more than 2,000 fans. Six other multipurpose fields, for soccer or lacrosse, are adjacent, as well as festival grounds. The southern section of John Hunt Park is the site of a world-class cross country course to be opened in late 2019, as well as 12 sand volleyball courts. Future development will include walking trails, a mountain biking course and disc golf course. In close proximity to John Hunt Park is Brahan Spring Park, with two diamonds for physically challenged athletes, four soccer fields, two softball fields, a splash pad, disc golf course and a lagoon used for model boat racing events. Merrimack Park, only a block from Brahan Spring, has 14 lighted soccer fields – four of them with synthetic turf – and six more under construction.
Sports: Soccer, lacrosse, cross country, sand volleyball, tennis
Huntsville Tennis Center and Athletic Club Alabama
The sites for the 2019-2020 USTA Girls 16s Clay Court National Championship, the facilities are less than a half-mile apart and near the John Hunt Park complex. Huntsville Tennis Center is a city-owned facility with 24 lighted clay courts and six lighted hard courts. Athletic Club Alabama, a private facility that offers affordable single-day and week-long memberships for visitors, has six indoor courts and 15 outdoor courts, as well as a restaurant and meeting space.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove
Hampton Cove is the first step onto the famed Robert Trent Golf Trail for visitors from the North, Northeast and Midwest. The stunning facility offers a variety of challenges for golfers, as well as all the amenities needed to host successful tournaments. The Highlands Course meanders across hilly terrain and offers spectacular views. The River Course is a links-style course that has no sand – but no shortage of challenging holes in which water comes into play. There’s also a delightful 18-hole short course that may have you reaching for every club in your bag.
Von Braun Center & Propst Arena
With its gorgeous lakeside setting central location in Huntsville the Propst Arena and adjacent Von Braun Center offer sports planners just what they need: space. And lots of it. Propst Arena is a multi-level 8,000-seat arena with a 110-by-212-foot floor and two LED video boards. The site of an annual “home-away-from-home” appearance by the University of Alabama basketball team, it’s perfect for hosting basketball tournaments, gymnastics meets and hockey games. The arena is a part of the Von Braun Center, the premier events space in Huntsville and great for those planners who need to spread out a bit. More than 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space makes up just a fraction of the whopping 350,000-plus sq. ft. of multipurpose space available to event planners for sports such as gymnastics, wrestling, volleyball, basketball and more.
Sports: Basketball, gymnastics, hockey, figure skating, soccer, wrestling, volleyball, boxing, team handball.
Louis Crews Stadium
From local high school football games to Alabama A&M Bulldogs football games, Louis Crews Stadium on the A&M campus is an impressive host. The synthetic turf field is surrounded by a 400-meter track, and the stadium holds 21,000 spectators. It also holds enormous history: Hall of Famer John Stallworth and five-time Pro Bowl selection Robert Mathis are among the former A&M players to reach the NFL. There is a two-level press box and 19 sky boxes for 16-50 people each, two locker rooms, concessions and ample parking.
Milton Frank Stadium
For sports planners looking to host games or tournaments in Huntsville, Milton Frank Stadium is an excellent choice, and consistently a top pick among local middle and high schools for sports such as football, soccer, and track and field. Inside the stadium, which hosts the Special Olympics for Madison County each year, you’ll find an artificial turf field as well as a new track. The recently renovated facility is centrally located near shopping, lodging and restaurants.
Sports: Football, soccer, track and field
Rocket City Trash Pandas Stadium
From the instant the colorful nickname was announced in 2018, the Rocket City Trash Pandas were the buzz of Minor League Baseball – even though the first pitch isn’t until April 15, 2020. The Trash Pandas, the Class AA Southern League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, will play in a new stadium in Madison, adjacent to I-565. The stadium will have fixed seating for 4,800 and a capacity of 7,000-plus, with skyboxes and meeting space. It will be the anchor for Town Madison, a mixed-use development that includes residential areas, shopping and a Margaritaville Hotel, scheduled for a 2021 opening. Nearby, a 12-field baseball complex for league and travel play is planned, with synthetic fields and multiple sizes to accommodate all ages of play.
Benton H. Wilcoxon Iceplex
Huntsville has long been able proclaim itself as the “Hockey Capital of the South,” and the Wilcoxon Iceplex is part of the reason. Not only does the city have a highly successful pro team (the Huntsville Havoc) and the only NCAA intercollegiate hockey team in the South (the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers) but there is a robust amateur program at Wilcoxon that has produced a pair of NHL players. The Iceplex has two sheets of ice and seating for up to 1,000. A recent renovation project has modernized the infrastructure and is adding more locker room space to enhance its role in hosting local and regional events.
Sports: Hockey, figure skating, curling
Things to do in Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville earned international recognition during the 1950s and ‘60s when a sleepy Southern mill town awoke as a force in manned space exploration. It was here that the Saturn V, the rocket that sent astronauts to the moon, was created. The 50th anniversary of that monumental achievement of technology and human courage was celebrated throughout 2019, and Huntsville remains a center for aerospace engineering with the presence of NASA and other tech industries. In recent years, Huntsville has undergone a revitalization that has resulted in the creation of more entertainment and cultural options, arts districts, craft breweries, restaurants and more. It is the ideal place for athletes, coaches and families to spend time exploring and making memories.
A trip to Huntsville would not be complete without visiting the U.S. Space & Rocket Center – the largest aerospace museum in the world and probably the closest you can get to space while still standing on solid ground. Tour this fascinating facility and learn about the history of space exploration and the U.S. space program. Hold your breath and climb into The Space Shot, a liftoff simulator that launches riders 140 feet in a heart-pounding 2.5 seconds, and allows them to experience a quick feeling of weightlessness just as astronauts would feel. Try this or any number of other museum simulators as part of a thrilling day.
Long a cultural center for music and arts, as inspired by the many people who were led the way in space exploration, Huntsville has undergone a revitalization in recent years. One of the most popular attractions is Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, a former cotton mill that has been repurposed into the largest privately owned arts facility in the U.S. More than 200 artists have studio space here, and there are six fine-art galleries, a theater, performance venues, shops, dining and a multitude of arts-related classes for all ages. Huntsville Museum of Art has more than 3,200 exhibits permanently on display, and nationally renowned artists and shows are on rotating display. And if you’re planning an event with younger travelers, don’t miss the Early Works Children’s Museum, where children are free to run, climb, play and explore in all of the interactive museum’s exhibits.
Huntsville is always looking to the future, and the spirit of innovation shines through everywhere you look. MidCity Huntsville is poised to be a new focal point, offering an entertainment and cultural experience unlike any other in the region. TopGolf and High Point Climbing and Fitness offer unique recreational experiences, as well as The Camp, a casual venue for food and music. Dave & Busters is scheduled to open in 2019 and even more dining, entertainment and retail options are planned for future openings. This entertainment center is perfect for groups looking to kick back and have some fun, and also make for great celebration zones after a big game. MidCity Huntsville is located near Cummings Research Park, the second-largest research park in the United States, and Bridge Street Town Centre, with more than 80 shops and restaurants, three hotels (by fall 2019) and a 14-screen movieplex.
Working with the Huntsville/Madison County CVB has been an awesome experience from the first moment we reached out. They have been responsive, easy to work with, and had so many words of advice for us along the way. We’ve never hosted a national championship before, and I truly believe that we won the bid due to the CVB’s support and willingness to help. I cannot say enough about the wonderful people at the CVB, and how much they have helped us in our journey!
Kelly Haynes, General Manager, Athletic Club Alabama Tournament host, USTA Girls 16s Clay Court National Championships
The ASF Foundation has just completed the second year of our Alabama State Games in the Huntsville, Madison County area. The Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been extremely helpful to us in putting on this multi-sport event that involves thousands of athletes.
Dean Kelly, executive director, Alabama State Games
We’re as proud of our teamwork as you are of yours. An event in Huntsville brings together all aspects of our sporting community to assure that it’s a major success, from lodging services, first-class facilities, event management and the support and encouragement from community and civic leaders. We not only have outstanding places to play and spaces to stay, but Huntsville is rich in attractions for families and visitors. The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to team with you to show you all that we have to offer, and provide a memorable event for athletes, coaches, fans and families.
Huntsville/Madison County CVB: Mark McCarter (Convention Sales Manager)
How to Get to Huntsville
For sports planners looking to bring their next event to the South, Huntsville offers a prime location that has all you need – quality facilities, a hospitable climate and great location. We’re at the northern border of Alabama, an easy drive or quick flight away. Travel and logistics will be the least of your concerns.
By car: Huntsville is perfectly centered in the Mid-South, less than four hours from Atlanta to the east, Memphis to the west. We’re connected by the I-565 spur to Interstate 65, which leads to Nashville (two hours away) and other points north, and Birmingham less than two hours to the south.
By plane: Huntsville International Airport is just a 15-minute drive from downtown, and there are direct flights to Huntsville from destinations such as Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Chicago and more.
Company Name: Huntsville/Madison County CVB
Sports Sales Manager: Mark McCarter
Title: Convention Sales Manager