The Reno-Sparks-Lake Tahoe area doesn’t need a general introduction. For many Americans, it competes with Las Vegas as glitz capital of the West. While Reno’s active nightlife and multiple casinos do draw plenty of tourists on their own account, it would be a mistake – and a big one – to ignore the many sports facilities and one-of-a-kind experiences this city offers.
You can settle into a purely-sports routine in Reno with no problems; the area’s skiing is famous, and there’s more than one round of golf to be played, as Reno’s spot on the PGA tour testifies. And there’s minor league baseball and basketball action as well.
Golden Eagle Regional Park
The Sports Complex at Golden Eagle is famous for its turf – all 1.4 million square feet of it. This makes it the largest facility of its kind in North America. At 100 acres, there’s room for six softball fields, four baseball fields, four volleyball courts, two youth baseball/softball fields and two bocce courts.
Reno-Sparks Convention Center
This facility covers 500,000 square feet, giving it lots of room to host events of all types. If your event is an indoor sport, consider the convention center as a venue. Past events have included Summer National Fencing Championships, Junior National Volleyball Championships, USA Team Handball Championships and Jam It On, a massive basketball tournament.
Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center
The home of the famous Reno Rodeo also hosts events like motocross and monster truck shows. The 43 acres include a 6,200-seat main arena, a pavilion with seating for 1,000 fans, a 20,000 square-foot exhibition hall and a 9,400-seat rodeo space. Among the onsite amenities are 42 fully-fitted RV hookups and 660 animal stalls.
University of Nevada’s Lawlor Events Center
Home of the Wolf Pack basketball team, this 12,000-seat multi-use arena can be used to host many indoor tournaments and sports.
National Bowling Stadium
The largest bowling stadium in the world (78 championship-sized lanes) also has the world’s longest (440-foot) video screen. It’s high-tech bowling on a huge scale, but smaller areas are also available for rent.
Reno Sports Complex
Four softball fields share the view with a stunning mountain backdrop, plus a disc golf course and hiking trails. Lighting is available for nighttime games.
In the winter, it’s the place to ski or snowboard; in the summertime, the Tavern hosts mountain bikers and other outdoorsy types
Sports Marina Park
Two beaches, two volleyball courts, multiple trails, one 77-acre lake. It’s a great place to boat, fish, wind surf, sail, swim or scuba dive.
Attractions and Accommodations
The National Automobile Museum is a great way to see the evolution of transportation in a fun and historically-appropriate context. Many of the cars, trucks and other vehicles are antiques. Kids, teens, and grownups will enjoy Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, which takes a hands-on approach to science, art, and history; activities include climbing clouds, building a “green” house and learning about Nevada’s history. See mountain lions, bears, wolves and other rescued creatures at the Animal Ark Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. The Lake Tahoe area offers everything from water sports and snow skiing to boat cruises, sightseeing gondolas and hot air ballooning.
Finding a place to suit your group’s style and budget shouldn’t be a problem in Reno–you can choose from more than 15,000 hotel rooms, most within easy distance of the airport and event venues. And Reno’s prices average about 30% less than other major destinations. And your group won’t go hungry; Reno is home to almost every type of restaurant, from barbeque to bistro. A local favorite is Food Truck Fridays, which capitalizes on the mobile culinary trend of the moment.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Reno is about 30 miles from Lake Tahoe, and the two destinations share a tourism website and a lot of the same travel conveniences, starting with Reno-Tahoe International Airport. It is served by all major airlines, and some hotel and destination shuttles are free.
If you’re driving in, it’s good to know that Reno is the point where US-395 and I-80 converge. It’s about 450 miles north of Las Vegas, 500 miles west of Salt Lake City and 280 miles northeast of San Francisco. Another option is Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which makes a roundtrip from San Francisco to Chicago and stops at the Reno station.
The folks at the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority are ready to help make your group travel experience a success, starting with the planning stages. Here are a few highlights of their comprehensive services:
- Registration and welcome assistance
- Airport assistance
- Marketing and PR assistance
- Social media, Facebook and micro-webpage assistance
- Free specialized iPhone App (for selected events)