What can Carbondale offer my next tournament?

The natural beauty of the Midwest is sometimes lost in people’s minds as they immediately think of bustling cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee. When it comes to Illinois, the Prairie State, they think of flat terrain with farm after farm. But much of the region, like the environs of Carbondale, Illinois, offers a peaceful landscape of rolling hills and scenic bluffs, making it a picturesque location that forms an unforgettable backdrop for a group trip.


Along with landscapes fit for a postcard, Carbondale offers a buzzing downtown area with plenty for your tournament participants to do between games. One-of-a-kind boutiques and stores make Carbondale an excellent shopping destination. Rich in Illinois and national history, the city has museums and historic sites to see.

Home of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale also offers a mix of culture, education and athletics. The roots of SIU Saluki football, basketball and other sports run deep in the city’s soul. The NCAA Division I school provides facilities for the national stage. Added to the parks and other facilities in Carbondale, they help make the city a top tournament destination.

What can you do in Carbondale after the buzzer sounds?

Dozens of attractions make Carbondale a family-friendly destination with plenty of exciting activities. The Little Grassy Fish Hatchery hatches a variety of fish, offering a hands-on experience your guests won’t forget. Or try Hot Wheels Skatium, a brand new skating rink located just outside the city. With skate rentals and a snack bar the family can spend an entire afternoon at the rink.

For history buffs in your group, the area boasts one of the famous debate sites of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. Located a few minutes south of Carbondale in Jonesboro, a monument marks the third debate between our 16th president and his familiar foe from 1856.

The bright and friendly downtown area of Carbondale offers dozens of places to eat, with fare ranging from barbecue to Mexican and Italian. After grabbing a bite, take a stroll past the shops on Main Street Plaza. Visitors can also check out one of several museums, including the Science Center of Southern Illinois and its interactive exhibits.

X Factors

  • Tournament bags including discounts, visitors’ guide and map
  • Create custom landing page for tournament information, event updates, etc.
  • Social media marketing
  • Local media coverage
  • Site Inspections
  • Provides local organization of fields and contracts
  • Provides lodging negotiations and scheduling assistance for groups not utilizing third party organizers

So what are the facilities like in Carbondale?

SuperBlock Multi-Sports Complex

Sports: Baseball, softball, soccer

On the east side of town, the SuperBlock Multi-Sports Complex is a haven for a number of sports with bleacher seating for 100 at each of the eight soccer fields and four softball and baseball fields. The facility is handicapped-accessible with full concession and restrooms. The complex has played host to the traveling 3v3 Soccer Live Soccer Tour. The baseball and softball fields and the championship soccer field are equipped with lighting. The fields are part of Doug Lee Park of the Carbondale Park District. Parking is available near all the fields.

Carbondale Community High School Athletics

Sports: All

The community high school hosts Illinois state tournaments in all student-athlete events. The high school on the east side of town offers three full-sized basketball courts that can be used for volleyball as well. The football and soccer field has bleacher seating for more than 1,000 guests and is surrounded by a quarter-mile track. The natural-grass field also has a press box and scoreboard. Just north of the field are eight tennis courts equipped with lighting for play after dark as well as bleacher seating for spectators. The Illinois high school regulation-sized baseball and softball fields also are equipped with lights and offer bleacher seating behind home plate. Parking is available to the east and north of the school.

Southern Illinois University Athletics

Sports: All

Home of the Division I Salukis, SIU competes in the competitive Missouri Valley Conference for a chance at national glory every year. Itchy Jones Stadium is the artificial-turf home of the SIU baseball team. Concrete bowl seating offers fans an angle from behind home plate, and there is picnic seating around the field. At Charlotte West Stadium, lighted for nighttime play, more than 500 fans can take in softball action from bleachers behind home plate. SIU Arena is home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams with stadium seating for more than 8,000. The Saluki Swim Club competes at the Natatorium, a 16-lane pool with a warm-up area and seating for 500. Track and field events take place at the Lew Hartzog Complex, which includes a 400-meter track and several field-event amenities.

Southern Illinois Rec Sports Complex

Sports: Rugby, soccer, flag football, lacrosse, softball, quidditch

The recreation center on the campus of Southern Illinois University hosts intramurals at the college and is available for several outdoor sports. With large grassy areas, the facility is equipped with lighting and a scoreboard with ample parking nearby. The Jean Stehr Field has hosted international soccer championships and can be used for flag football, lacrosse and other field sports.

Hickory Ridge Golf Course

Sports: Golf

The 6,836-yard Hickory Ridge Golf Course features long fairways, tricky sand traps and water hazards and tight greens, challenging players of all ages and abilities. Located in the northwestern part of Carbondale, the golf course showcases the rolling hills and thick woods of Southern Illinois. Long but tight fairways call for accurate tee shots and challenging greens will separate the true champion from the rest of the field. Hickory Ridge Clubhouse offers a full-service pro shop and restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, accommodating up to 100 guests.

Parrish Park

Sports: Soccer, archery

On the west end of Carbondale is Parrish Park, which boasts nine soccer fields of varying sizes for different ages and abilities. Surrounded by a backdrop of trees, the park is a beautiful location to spend the day as players tough it out on the natural-grass fields. Bleacher seating is available and parking is found in the center of the park. Two of the fields are 180 by 120 feet, three are 300 by 200 feet and four are 240 by 150 feet. Parrish Park is part of the Carbondale Park District and restrooms are available on-site.

How do you get to Carbondale?

With major highways crisscrossing Carbondale and several metro areas a short drive away, Southern Illinois is accessible from wherever your guests are coming from. The city is a major Amtrak hub for those who prefer to travel by rail.

By Car: U.S. Route 51 splits Carbondale down the center, and goes through Southern Illinois University. Drivers can take 51 from the north in Chicago and Milwaukee and from the south in Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky. From the east and west, drivers can take Illinois Route 13 connecting with Interstate 57 to the east and to Interstate 55 to the west.

By Rail: Amtrak riders can stop at the Carbondale station right in the heart of the city, connecting to St. Louis and New Orleans.

By Air: Southern Illinois Airport is a 10-minute drive north of Carbondale. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is about two hours away.