The following article appeared in the North Carolina State Sports Guide. Download the full guide below.
North Carolina has long legs in hosting competitive events for traveling teams. From the beginning, baseball and softball competitions have been regulars on the state’s sports scene. Here’s a look at the destinations and their venues that are wooing event planners.
The USA Baseball National Training Complex in 2019 will enter its 12th season hosting top-notch baseball events. The stadium field and three practice fields each have dimensions of 330 feet down the lines and 400 feet to straight-away center field. The stadium field features a press box with two suites, an official scorer’s table and a press row. There’s spectator seating for 2,000 at the stadium field and restrooms and concessions are available at each field.
In addition to seven various city park fields, three of which are lighted, Wilmington features two stadiums/complexes in their mix. For baseball, Godwin Stadium is lighted, seats 1,000 and has plenty of parking. The Legion Sports Complex features a lighted artificial turf field, 3,500 seats, home and visitor field house, concessions, press box and paved parking. Olsen Park also features five lighted baseball/softball fields, a restroom/vending building, a picnic shelter and parking. Brooks Field on campus for baseball and Boseman Field on campus for softball at UNC-Wilmington are both NCAA Division I fields.
Although Greensboro is best known for aquatics, basketball and soccer, Carolyn Allen Park is no stranger to hosting ballgames. Four baseball/softball tournament fields feature 300-foot fences with temporary fencing available for Adult Slow Pitch Softball, Girls Fast Pitch Softball and Youth Baseball. There’s a concession stand, bleacher seating and a picnic area just outside the park. Check out the minor league baseball Greensboro Grasshoppers schedule while your event is in town.
Scattered throughout the area are eight baseball/softball venues to fit your every need. 360 Elite Sports Training features six Astro Turf high school-sized fields and two portable pitching mounds along with six batting cages. Larger 300 feet completion fields are available at Glendale Acres Elementary School, Greenwood Park, R. Max Abbott Middle School, Terry Sanford High School and Milton E. Mazarick Park. Make sure to catch a minor league baseball game at the new stadium.
Just four miles off I-95, the Rocky Mount Sports Complex sits on 143 acres with 11 fields dedicated to baseball/softball. There are six youth playing fields each with six-foot fences at 200 feet. Four softball/multipurpose fields are 325 feet with six-foot fences. Portable fencing can reduce the fields to 200 or 225 feet. The championship baseball field features 350/380-foot fences. All fields are lighted and irrigated and feature Bermuda grass infields and outfields and a professionally mixed sand and clay infield.
Belmont Abbey College has been a great partner for Gaston County. A Division II college, Abbey Yard is the college’s home baseball field and an excellent championship venue. The college’s softball field also serves as a championship site. Nearby, George Poston Park features four baseball/softball lighted fields and picnic shelters. In Gaston, an additional four lighted baseball/softball fields can be found in the 48-acre Martha Rivers Youth Complex.
The East Carolina University Pirates, an NCAA Division I American Conference member, has baseball and softball stadiums capable of hosting events. Clark-LeClair Stadium seats 5,000, and measures 320 feet down the lines and 390 feet to center field. The stadium also features indoor and outdoor batting cages. Among the many player amenities are the spacious clubhouse and locker room. ECU Softball Stadium contains a state-of-the-art video board in right center field with a three-camera system. Near the ECU campus, Elm Street Park Stallings Stadium is no stranger to championship play. Greenville’s Sara Law Softball Complex provides four natural grass fields and two practice fields.
Winston-Salem is fortunate to have an Atlantic Coast Conference university with outstanding facilities. David F. Couch Ballpark on the campus of Wake Forest University features a state-of-the-art indoor batting facility and two home plate programmable pitching machines. Throughout the city, there are a variety of competition ballparks. Blum Field, historic Hanes Hosiery, Parkland Field, South Park Field and Washington Park No. 1 are lighted. Secondary practice fields are also available.
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