The Sports Planner’s Starter Guide to Indiana

First settled by American Indians, Indiana has a strong history with indigenous people, evidenced by not only its name but its rich heritage.

First settled by American Indians, Indiana has a strong history with indigenous people, evidenced by not only its name but its rich heritage.

When it comes to sports and activities, Indiana is well known for its auto racing and is home to the famed Indianapolis 500 race. But it also has a strong basketball heritage and is said to be the birthplace of high school basketball. No matter what kind of sports event you are hosting, the Hoosier State is sure to have the facilities and accommodations to make your tournament a success.

Bloomington Sports Facilities

Located in the south-central portion of the state, Bloomington is admired for its varied landscape, vibrant culture and elite academic institutes. It is the home of Indiana University, which touts one of the best athletic programs in the country and features some of the area’s best facilities.

Memorial Stadium has been home to the Indiana Hoosiers football team since 1960 and has undergone many renovations to make it a state-of-the-art venue. It seats 52,929 spectators and features 300 indoor club seats and nine suites. When your team competes at this Bloomington sports facility, make sure it keeps with tradition: every game the Hoosier team enters the field and touches “The Rock,” a limestone boulder located in the north end zone.

Also located on the Indiana University campus is Assembly Hall, a 17,456-seat arena that hosts all the university’s home basketball games. This venue is known in college basketball as one of the loudest. Adjacent to the arena is Cook Hall, a practice facility with locker rooms, lounges, practice courts and a training room.

Bloomington’s Parks and Recreation system offers some top-of-the-line sports venues that are reasonably priced for any size event. Karst Farm Parks & Soccer Complex features six full-size lighted fields and one practice field. Each field has seating for 200 spectators and is irrigated for optimum play. Frank Southern Ice Arena is home to the Bloomington Blades, the Indiana University hockey team and Bloomington Figure Skating Club. It features one ice rink, conference and meeting space and comfortable locker rooms. Twin Lakes Softball Complex features four regulation-size diamonds with covered dugouts. It offers a two-story multi-purpose building with observation deck and seating for 200 people at each diamond. The complex has hosted the National ASA Softball Championships, Indiana State Softball Championships and the USA Women’s Team Olympic Showcase.

Sports Venues in Indianapolis

Fondly called the Circle City, Indianapolis proudly serves as the capital of Indiana, boasting unique urban spaces, innovative attractions and cherished traditions. Despite its chosen nickname, Indianapolis is by no means restricted by a circular boundary, but flourishes in many different areas and offers a broad range of events and activities. It is home to some of the country’s biggest movers in the sports scene, like the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL and the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. Sports planners will find no limit to the possibilities for sports events and facilities in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Convention Center is one of the largest centers in the country, especially after it connected with Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. While you may not be hosting a big enough sports tournament to fill the 63,000-seat stadium, the convention center offer convenient configuration flexibility to accommodate even the smallest events. The center features 566,300 square feet of exhibition space that can be transformed into wrestling rings, volleyball and basketball courts and gymnastic floors.

Just three blocks away from the convention center is Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers. The facility seats 18,345 fans and has been named one of the top venues in the NBA. It can be used for basketball or volleyball tournaments.

One of the most versatile sports venues in Indianapolis is the State Fairgrounds. With more than 15 buildings and plenty of areas scattered throughout the property, the Fairgrounds can handle pretty much anything sports planners have in mind. You can rent out the 15,000-seat Grandstand for a soccer or football tournament, or the smaller 8,000-seat Pepsi Coliseum for a wrestling or cheerleading competition.

Midwest Sports Complex is a multi-purpose facility that features 10 softball diamonds, eight sand volleyball courts, four full-size soccer fields and batting cages. Spectators can enjoy all the action from the fan decks or relax in the full-service restaurant. The complex hosts many large-scale tournaments.

South Bend Sports Tournaments

Situated along the St. Joseph River, South Bend is a moderately sized city with the appeal of a larger metropolitan area. The home of the University of Notre Dame is brimming with collegiate and amateur sports facilities and over 4,500 hotel rooms, giving sports planners plenty of options.

It is common knowledge that Notre Dame has a deep football tradition, and South Bend has been the home of the College Football Hall of Fame since 1995 (though the attraction plans to move to Atlanta). The Fighting Irish plays their home games in Notre Dame Stadium, which seats 80,795 spectators. If the strong ties to college football are not enticing enough, the large mural known as “Touchdown Jesus” that looms over one of the end zones will surely appeal to sports teams.

Coveleski Stadium is home to the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Affectionately called “The Cove,” it can seat up to 5,000 fans and has been used for many amateur and local sports events.” Considered the prototype for many future minor league ballpark designs, it is known as the “grandfather of the modern ballpark.”

If you are looking for a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, look no further than Gymnastics Michiana. The 25,000-square-foot facility features all the equipment a sports planner could possibly need for a gymnastics tournament, from uneven and parallel bars to beams and pommel horses. It also features a large viewing balcony where families and friends can watch the action. The facility makes sure every event is thoroughly matted for safety.

The Junior Irish Airport Soccer Complex features 12 full-sized soccer fields, which are irrigated and maintained to make sure each pitch stays up to par for every tournament or match. The fields can be configured to accommodate all levels of play, from youth to professional. There is plenty of open space to set up tournament headquarters, booths and concessions.

Planning a Sports Event in Lake County

Located in the northwest corner of the state, Lake County sits right along the border of Illinois and the banks of Lake Michigan. With its proximity to major cities and natural landscapes, Lake County is an ideal spot to host an athletic event. The region consists of numerous cities that offer quality sports facilities, supportive communities and organizations and affordable accommodations.

Gary is located just over the border from Illinois and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is home to the Gary SouthShore RailCats, an American Association professional baseball team, which plays all its matches at the U.S. Steel Yard stadium. This open-air sports venue is right next to I-90, making it easily accessible. It seats 6,139 people and hosts many little league baseball games and high school tournaments.

Indiana University Northwest in Gary offers varsity collegiate sports like basketball and volleyball. Sports teams can compete at the Savannah Center, located in the heart of the campus. It offers a three-court gym, a suspended walking/running track and workout room.

Hallmark Sports Complex is located in Hebron, Indiana, and features two custom designed soccer fields, an Active Court tiled volleyball and tennis court and a spacious lounge that overlooks the facility. There is plenty of space for tournament headquarters, concession stands and parking.

In Dyer you will find the Midwest Training & Ice Center, a facility that can be configured to suit many different sports events. It features a 30,000-square-foot gymnastics training facility, an Olympic-size ice rink and a 6,000-square-foot training center. There are nine team rooms where sports planners can establish registration booths and meeting areas for coaches and their athletes.

Indiana’s central location, welcoming environment and enthusiasm for athletics make it a prime spot to host a sports event or tournament. So check out any of these cities, or the surrounding areas, to find the services and facilities that will suit your event needs.

Article Name
Sports Planning in Indiana
First settled by American Indians, Indiana has a strong history with indigenous people, evidenced by not only its name but its rich heritage.
Publisher Name
Sports Planning Guide

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