In a little over a year, Foley, Alabama’s Sports Tourism Complex on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, has established itself as one of the premier sports facilities in the country.
The Sun Belt Conference clearly agrees with that sentiment as it awarded Foley a two-year contract extension to host its women’s soccer championships in 2018 and 2019. Foley already hosted the championships in the fall of 2016 and will do so again this year, from Nov. 1-5.
Foley Sports Tourism Complex Executive Director Don Staley said the extension is a testament to the city and facility.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our relationship with the Sun Belt Conference,” Staley said. “This contract extension lets us know how the coaches, players and conference felt about our venue and our city. We will continue to extend our unique brand of Foley hospitality for years to come.”
Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson shares Staley’s excitement.
“The Sun Belt Conference and member institutions are excited to return to Foley and this state-of-the-art complex,” Benson said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Foley Sports Tourism Complex as well as the city of Foley as we continue to provide our coaches, and most importantly, our student-athletes, the best opportunity to showcase their talents.”
The $32-million Foley Sports Tourism Complex opened in May of 2016. It features 16 fields (15 challenge fields and one championship field equipped with lighting and seating for 1,000) that can cater to any number of sports including soccer, lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, football and rugby.
The venue will open a 90,000-square-foot indoor event center this September. The main floor has room for six full-sized basketball courts and 12 full-sized volleyball courts. The facility will also host cheerleading, dance and gymnastics competitions as well as concerts, banquets, conventions and trade shows.
Also opening this year is a major amusement park next to the sports complex. OWA, which means “big water” in Muscogee Creek language, is a destination resort that will feature a 14-acre amusement park with more than 20 rides (including one of the biggest roller coasters in the country), 154,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space, and a 14-acre lake with a 1.5-acre island. A Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel with 150 rooms is also planned.
For more information on the Foley Sports Tourism Complex, visit foleysportstourism.com/events.