Located in the northern region of the country’s midsection, Michigan is one of those scenic gems tucked away in the corners, preserved for all those who truly appreciate its culture, beauty and landscape. Made up of two peninsulas, 11,000 lakes and 32,000 miles of coastline, Michigan provides a dream environment for the outdoor enthusiast, not to mention avid sports fans from across the country. The state holds thousands of athletic events every year, from traditional sports like soccer, golf and basketball to extreme sports like kayaking, mountain biking and skiing. Sports teams, coaches and planners will find a limitless number of sports facilities in Michigan, as well as helpful sources, affordable accommodations and exciting attractions.
Ann Arbor Sports Facilities
Just a couple hours west of Detroit, Ann Arbor touts itself as a place unlike any other in Michigan. It may be small but packs more than one would expect into its modest borders. While it is renowned for its cultural affinity, it has a strong tie to sports, especially with the presence of the athletic powerhouse University of Michigan. This bustling college town provides sports planners with elite sports venues, friendly service and reasonable hotel rates, making it easy to plan a sports tournament in Ann Arbor.
The University of Michigan features many distinct facilities on its campus, including Crisler Arena, home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The 13,751-seat arena has been hosting Wolverine basketball for 40 years, making it a prime location for a sports event. It was also home to the university’s wrestling and gymnastics teams before they moved to a newly built venue a few years ago.
Michigan Stadium, also known as the Big House, is where Wolverine football lives and breathes. It is a classic and well-known stadium, and claims the right to call itself the largest college-owned football stadium in the country. It seats 109,901 spectators, and features the latest technology and amenities to help you plan your next big tournament—even if you fall short of filling every seat.
Also located in Ann Arbor is Eastern Michigan University, another top collegiate performer when it comes to athletics. The Jones Natatorium is located inside the Olds-Robb Student Recreation/Intramural Complex, and is home to the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. It featured an Olympic-sized, 50-meter pool, 1- and 3-meter springs and 5-, 7- 10-meter boards. It has been used for college, state and local competitions.
Sports Venues in Lansing
Michigan has a strong love of hockey, and Lansing is no exception. You can organize your next hockey or ice skating event at Suburban Ice, which features two sheets of ice, one with 1,200 seats and one with 600. It is located behind the Michigan Athletic Club in a convenient spot near hotels and attractions.
Alliance Lake Softball Complex is located in the Potterville community northwest of Lansing. It includes four lighted diamonds, seating for over 500 people, electronic scoreboards and dugouts at each field.
East Lansing Soccer Complex is designed to host a variety of sports events, including field hockey, football, Frisbee, kickball, lacrosse and soccer. The venue features seven fields and one lighted field, with bleacher seating for 250 spectators. It is located near the Michigan State University campus, as well as many other popular attractions, dining options and accommodations.
Michigan State University has a talented and world-renowned athletic program, which means it is well equipped with elite sports facilities. The Breslin Center is home to Spartan basketball and volleyball, and has everything sports planners need to host their next tournament. It includes seating for 15,300 people, an advanced sound and lighting system, great acoustics, meeting rooms and an auxiliary gym where teams can practice.
Grand Rapids Sports Events
Fifth Third Ballpark has been a popular establishment in Grand Rapids since 1994. It is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. The stadium seats 10,071 spectators and features world-class amenities that make it easy to host a successful sports tournament.
Grand Rapids has many colleges and educational institutions that offer prime sports facilities. Calvin College has some of the best venues in the area, so sports planners will be able to find exactly what they need with a simple stroll around the campus. The Huizenger Tennis & Track Center is a multi-purpose venue used for tennis, track, baseball, softball and volleyball. It features four full-size courts, a 200-meter, six-lane track, two sand pits and a practice pole vault.
Van Andel Arena is home to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. The arena can be transformed for hockey, basketball, wrestling, volleyball or gymnastics, and seats 12,000-plus spectators. It is located right in downtown Grand Rapids.
Delta Plex Arena & Conference Center provides a great space for concerts, events and sports tournaments. The 20,000-square-foot arena is a multi-sport venue that has fixed seats for 4,500, with the flexibility to fit up to 6,500. The facility has been home to many professional teams, including Grand Rapids Flight of the International Basketball League and most recently the West Michigan ThunderHawks of the Indoor Football League.
Sports Tournaments in Detroit
The largest city in Michigan, Detroit has become known for its major role in America’s automotive history and music scene. It’s also known as the City of Champions for its successful sports teams that started in the early part of the nineteenth century. Detroit has a long history of hosting a variety of sporting events, from college level to professional. Sports teams will truly enjoy competing in Detroit, a legendary city in the athletic world.
Detroit has a deep-running passion for hockey, which is probably why it gained the nickname Hockeytown. With nearly 40 hockey venues in the Detroit area, coaches and teams will have no problem finding a top-quality ice rink to play their matches. One of the larger facilities is the Kennedy Recreation Center, a 150,000-square-foot indoor space that serves as the home base for many adult and youth leagues. It features 3 NHL-size surfaces available for hockey games, open skating and figure skating.
Detroit’s proximity to the water makes it a great place for outdoor activities and aquatic sports. The city features a number of parks with amazing recreational amenities. Firefighters Park is one of five major parks in the Troy area. It provides a mix of open space and sports facilities. It features nine soccer fields, a baseball diamond, 18-hole disc golf course and sand volleyball courts. The park offers picnic shelters and concessions.
If you are looking to take the action inside, Elite Sports Center East has over 46,000 square feet of floor space, making it easy to convert for many kinds of sports events. It is home for the Michigan Elite volleyball club, the largest in the state. It features nine USAV regulation-size courts, and it can be adapted into four full-size basketball courts or 10 half-size courts.
Another popular multi-purpose sports venue is the Silverdome, an 82,000-seat domed stadium in Pontiac. It was once home to the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons before Ford Field opened. It has hosted a variety of events, including Super Bowl XVI, four rounds of soccer for the 1994 FIFA World Cup and many Michigan high school state football finals. It can be converted to host everything from basketball, boxing and fencing to football, gymnastics and soccer.
Sports planners will find a plethora of sports venues and services in Michigan, not to mention a welcoming environment and competitive prices. The state’s natural beauty and long sports history make it an ideal spot for tournaments and events. Michigan holds the key to hosting a thoroughly successful sporting event.