Lots of places claim to be great sports travel destinations,but Alabama can actually make good on that claim. Besides offering sports facilities, Alabama’s cities are packed full of fun. Alabama has many venues in which you can take in the sounds of classical music, blues, jazz and folk. During NASCAR, visit Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, an exhilarating way to spend an afternoon after a battle at a tournament.
Montgomery: History and Baseball
Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is a place of culture and fun. Once your team reaches Montgomery, you may have a chance to witness a rodeo, a concert, horse show or music event at Garrett Coliseum. Or visit the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant and compare how Hyundai employees work together and how your sports team functions. Exhibits at the Civil Rights Memorial Center retell events during the turbulent 1960s. There is also a wall that has the text of the book of Amos, which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used in his famous Washington speech. For a basketball outing in Montgomery, consider Alabama State University’s 7,400-seat ACAdome, which has a NCAA regulation-size court. Buddy Watson Park, a 30-acre sports complex, is a top-notch facility for your baseball team, offering seven fields with lights, ample seating and concession areas. Capitol Hill of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is named by Golf Magazine as one of the best courses open to the public in the U.S. There are plenty of holes to give even seasoned golfers a challenge and the Capitol Hill course is a great place to hone young golfers’ skills.
Tuscaloosa for Sports Travel
Just a short drive outside of Tuscaloosa, you will reach Alabama Adventure Park, where your group can ride the coasters or splash down at the water park. Tuscaloosa is home to one of Mercedes-Benz’s international factories. At the Mercedes-Benz Visitor’s Center & Museum you can see the newest lines being made and learn about the history of the automotive industry. Tuscaloosa is just 200 miles from Atlanta. A fine sports facility for basketball or volleyball tournaments would be Birthright Hall at Stillman College. Birthright has a regulation-size court. Sokel Park in Tuscaloosa is an exceptional venue for outdoor competition. It has six softball fields with lighting and two soccer/football fields with lighting. Sports teams are also welcome at Shelton State Community College, which has facilities for baseball, softball, basketball and soccer.
Birmingham’s Big Sports Facilities
The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham is a place to gain perspective on social issues in America and struggles of the past. Exhibits also explore human rights issues around the globe. Any sports team would love to visit the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, which honors the state’s greatest athletes. Barber Motorsports Park is a fantastic way to see Indy car racing and Superbike action on a 2.3-mile track. If you are traveling with a large group, you may want to have your basketball tournament at Homewood High School in Birmingham. Homewood has three NCAA regulation courts with seating for 1,000 spectators. A slightly smaller sports complex in Birmingham can be found at Lakeshore Foundation, with two high school regulation courts with seating for 1,500. For baseball, consider Jerry D. Young Memorial Field, which has seating for 600 and lighting for night games.
Spotlight on Hank Aaron Stadium
In Mobile your group can get hands on with science at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. Five air boat tour companies provide a chance to get a close-up of alligators and other wildlife in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Enjoy the speed of the air boats skipping through the swamp and try not to lose your hat. Mobile also has the USS Alabama, a ship half as long as the Empire State Building is tall. You can board the Alabama and the USS Drum, a submarine. To go along with the ships is a collection of old-time war planes. The Mobile Tennis Center is a full-service facility with 60 courts, hosting 15 to 20 tournaments a year. All the courts are hard surface and have lighting. There is also a pro shop on the premises. Hank Aaron Stadium, available for rent, is home to the Mobile Bay Bears, a class AA baseball team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ladd-Peebles Stadium is a large facility that can house football games and soccer games. The stadium has a capacity of 40,000. Ladd-Peebles is home to three collegiate bowls. Alabama has been and will always be a great sports state. All the cities mentioned are wonderful choices for tournaments. Whether it is the tennis sports complex in Mobile or the courts at Homewood High School in Birmingham, it will be a time not soon forgotten by you or your players.