In the sporting world, an overachiever is one to be admired. They have ambition, drive, heart and, most importantly, a need to perform at their very best. These attributes can also be found in a city called Plano, Texas. This town just north of Dallas prides itself on providing sports teams with the very best.
Make no mistake, they certainly try to take on every sports event possible. But if there is any chance that fields will not be in the best shape due to weather, or there will be a shortage of rooms for any reason, Plano will not feel right accepting a sports event under such conditions.
“If we can’t make an A-plus presentation, we don’t want to do it,” Aberg said. It is this level of dedication that keeps many sports planners coming back year after year and draws first-timers from all over the country.
“I get a lot of calls from college coaches and high school coaches who have been to events here…who call and want to plan tournaments here because of the quality of our fields and the attention to detail that our maintenance people offer,” said Aberg.
And Plano certainly has a large number of recreation fields. The city was planned about 35 years ago and officials really built an intricate park system. It was designed to serve local residents and their leagues, but the parks are also used to bring in outside tournaments.
Plano hosts a wide variety of tournaments and is always eager to bring in more. In fact, Aberg said she is actively working to bring in more lacrosse events, since Plano has such a burgeoning community for the sport. Apart from that, Plano has a very active cricket association and has one of only two facilities in the country with seven cricket fields, where it holds at least one major tournament every year. Plano also hosts softball showcases, PYSA youth soccer competitions, junior college tennis championships, the Hunter Mahan Golf Championships and college table tennis championships.
When it comes down to it, the biggest selling point of Plano is its facilities. According to Aberg, the city’s real strength is “the quality of our fields and the flexibility of our fields.”
As mentioned, Plano has an intricate park system, providing a lot to work with. There is no major arena or auditorium, just a large number of outstanding recreational fields that can be used for all kinds of sports tournaments.
Top sports venues in Plano include:
Russell Creek Park
This Plano sports venue features 22 lighted soccer fields, as well as cricket fields, softball diamonds and plenty of open space for tournament headquarters and seating.
This sports facility offers nine softball fields for regional league play. The area boasts plenty of green space to set up tournament registrations, seating and concessions.
This athletic facility features six outdoor baseball and softball diamonds, soccer fields, and an athletic complex with basketball and volleyball courts, racquetball courts and an indoor track.
Plano Sports Authority
Started as a non-profit organization, the Plano Sports Authority offers two great sports venues for events: PSA StarCenter and PSA2. Between the two facilities, there are 23 basketball and volleyball courts, and two indoor turf arenas.
The local junior college features great sports facilities that are used for a number of tournaments and events. The tennis facility features 12 lighted courts and is seen as one of the best junior college tennis centers in the country.
Sports are an essential part of life in Plano, both on a personal and economical level for residents. Leagues and games bring the community together, while national and international tournaments provide the bulk of hotel occupancy revenue and tax and boost local businesses. And since these events are so important, Plano makes sure that it has enough space—4,200 hotel rooms—and the right prices to keep sports teams well accommodated and under budget.
“Since we are not a large city and we have a wide variety of chains, our prices are not as expensive as other places,” said Aberg. “You get more bang for your buck as far as hospitality.”
Plano offers the resources, sports venues, and accommodations that any sports planner would need to make it easy to host a tournament. It also doesn’t hurt that they go above and beyond to make sure it is the absolute best event it can possibly be. So, when planning a sports event, why not go with the overachievers of Plano, Texas?
—By Vanessa Day