As a sports event organizer, you’re faced with finding that perfect spot for your event. You’re looking for a destination that has the right amount of space, yet still offers plenty of things to do in the area for the families and athletes that attend. Here’s some advice. Follow the Fox. Not the animal, but the river. It will lead you right to Greater St. Charles, Illinois, a rich destination that offers the right sports venues and attractions to host your athletic tournament.
St. Charles, Illinois has hosted numerous athletic championships and offers a range of venues that will satisfy any sports planner. Apart from its top sports facilities, the Greater St. Charles area features many “sight-doing” opportunities – hands-on art classes, live music, fantastic farm-to-fork cuisine, and numerous outdoor trails – that will keep your crowd active and having fun. Trust the current on this one, it won’t steer you wrong.
Greater St. Charles–See it, do it, live it!
St. Charles, located an hour west of Chicago, has a natural charm you will feel the minute you step foot into downtown. The food is great, but it’s the art classes, comedy clubs, live bands, and grab-a-bike-and-hit-the-trails culture that will keep you coming back. You’ll want to test your skills on the Fox River in a canoe or kayak, too.
When it comes to live entertainment, you’re in for a treat in St. Charles. The authentic 1920s Arcada Theatre, with 900 up-close seats, is considered by many to be the Midwest’s No. 1 concert venue. Musical acts such as Vince Neil, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and Air Supply headline the fall 2017 calendar. While there, be sure to hit up Club Arcada speakeasy, too. Located on the third floor of the Arcada Theater, the new Club Arcada is an exclusive entertainment experience in the Midwest with a secret door, flapper girls, live music and true-to-time-period décor bringing Chicago’s Roaring Twenties to life. Howie Mandel will also headline at the Arcada this fall, or you can find more laughs at Zanies Comedy Club at Pheasant Run where Emo Philips, Gilbert Gottfried and Sinbad have all brought down the house. Plus, there’s more! Catch a play at the Steel Beam Theatre, watch a movie or experience 9D virtual Reality at XD Adventures.
St. Charles also dominates Northern Illinois with vintage art and throwback experiences. Art deco lovers should put the St. Charles Municipal Building on their must-see list with its impressive 84-foot Arte Modern structure constructed out of black granite and white Georgian marble. Car fanatics will love the Baltria Vintage Auto Gallery, which features classic and exotic automobiles from the last 100 years. Nature lovers will appreciate the miles of trails and the live animal exhibits on display at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. Or, head over to Garfield Farm and Inn Museum and Corron Farm and experience what life was like on a 19th century farm.
The Fox River is an attraction in itself. Stroll along the banks and take in the scenery, or hop aboard a St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboat for a picturesque cruise. You can also rent pedal boats, kayaks or canoes and paddle down the river, admiring all the Greater St. Charles area has to offer. For those looking for some retail therapy, the Greater St. Charles has specialty boutiques and antique shops for browsing and buying or live large at the Kane County Flea Market, named one of the 10 best flea markets by JetSetter magazine. You can also find modern shopping malls with popular chain stores and eateries.
Speaking of food, the Greater St. Charles serves up flavors from all over the world. That’s important because athletes need some variety and sustenance after a long day of competition. You’ll find mouth-watering Italian, Indian, Nepali, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Cantonese, Polish and Mexican dishes around town. Take your athletes to Pizzeria Neo for Italian brick oven pizza, Francesca’s by the River for Rome and Tuscan Italian, Shakou for modern Japanese cuisine, The Finery and Blacksmith for upscale farm-to-fork creations, or Hotel Baker’s ROX City Grill for prime steaks and seafood. Or you can check out some popular family-friendly restaurants like Portillo’s and Chili’s.
Let us connect you with The Greater St. Charles CVB, IL
Sports, Health & Wellness
- Great relationship with all our sports venues
- Social media marketing
- Easy access to/from major highways with Metra commuter train close by
- Over 1,300 guest rooms
- Site visits
- 40 miles west of Chicago
Facilities for Everything from Soccer to Horse Shows
East Side Sport Complex
Located on the east side of St. Charles, this 102-acre park features a multi-sport complex that accommodates athletic events of all kinds. The park is home to the Baseball Association and is the site of the annual Comet Classic softball tournament. It features eight lighted softball and baseball fields, three lighted soccer fields, 10 multi-purpose play fields, four lighted sand volleyball courts, a lighted skate park, two lighted tennis courts and two lighted basketball courts.
Fifth Third Bank Ballpark
Home to the Class-A minor league Kane County Cougars, Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is a great place to host baseball tournaments. The facility boasts a second-level seating area, covered concourse, rooftop decks and seating capacity for 10,923, plus lawn seating. Other amenities include picnic areas, lights, concessions and plenty of parking.
Fox Valley Ice Arena
Hockey and ice skating events will find their home at Fox Valley Ice Arena. The venue features an NHL arena with seating for 3,000, and an International arena, which seats 500. It has hosted numerous youth, USA Hockey and Figure Skating national and regional championships. It’s home to the Cyclones Youth Hockey AA Club, Aurora University D3 Men’s Hockey team and Chicago Steel USHL Team. The arena also boasts a restaurant, fitness center, skate rental and a pro shop.
James O. Breen Community Park
This 348-acre park is home to the Compton United Soccer Club and has played host to several large tournaments, including the Best of the Midwest and Midwest Cup soccer tournaments. The venue features 18 soccer fields, three football fields, and one rugby field. It also features a 9-hole disc golf course. There is ample free parking available, along with concessions, picnic tables and restrooms.
Lamplight Equestrian Center
A premier horse show facility, Lamplight Equestrian Center is a beautiful venue that provides competitors with a great experience. Lamplight hosts between 20-25 competitions every show season, including dressage shows and hunter/jumper shows. The 56-acre facility features eight competition dressage rings, warm-up rings, stabling for 1,200 horses, shaded viewing pavilions and bleacher seating for 750 spectators.
Norris Recreation Center
Sports: Swimming, tennis, dance
A multi-purpose facility, Norris Recreation Center features programs for aquatics, aerobics, dance and a full fitness center. The venue includes a six-lane, 25-meter pool that can be extended to 50 meters. The pool has seating for 400 spectators. The center also includes four indoor tennis courts, a dance studio, locker rooms and ample free parking.
Pheasant Run Resort Mega Center
Sports: Cheerleading, dance, martial arts, golf
Pheasant Run, a major Midwest resort, is a versatile facility that has hosted numerous sports events over the years, including the Varsity Brands Cheer Camp, AAU Karate Nationals and Hall of Fame Dance Challenge. The Mega Center is connected to the resort and features 38,250 square feet of meeting space, five skyboxes and a large pre-function area. The 18-hole resort golf course is a par-72 championship layout with tree-lined fairways and neatly groomed greens.
Located just two minutes from downtown, the Sportsplex is a 62,500-square-foot facility that has hosted a wide range of sports events, as well as some non-athletic community events. The venue features two indoor turf fields, a sports performance center, a dance studio and several multi-use rooms. It is home to seven soccer leagues throughout the year and is also available to local softball, baseball, lacrosse and baseball teams when they need it.
How Do You Get to Greater St. Charles, Illinois?
Located less than 50 miles from Chicago, the Greater St. Charles area is easy to reach from anywhere in the Midwest. It is served by a number of major highways, including I-90 and I-88, making it convenient for teams who are driving. The Greater St. Charles area is also close to two major airports, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, both of which are served by most major carriers.
If you’re ready to follow the Fox and plan your next sports event in Greater St. Charles, Illinois, contact the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau to get started.