Chicago has always had a reputation for being a sports-crazed town, and its South/Southwest suburbs are no exception. With a wide range of professional, collegiate and amateur sports facilities, the region excels at hosting a variety of tournaments, all with the comfort, entertainment and accommodations of the Chicago metropolitan area close by.
Choose from Top Youth, Collegiate and Professional Facilities
Toyota Park is the home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, but also gives amateur competition the chance to play where the pros do. This 20,000-seat stadium is large enough to support any amateur crowd, but maintains an intimate feel. The stadium’s full-size field (75 yards by 120 yards) has real grass, and the site also features two practice fields, one turf and one grass. The three-field venue has hosted events like the United States Adult Soccer Association’s National Cups Tournament, but with more than 250 other soccer fields in the area, tournament planners can also elect to use Toyota Park as only their championship venue.
Ho Chunk Sports Complex
Lynwood’s Ho Chunk Sports Complex has a 100,000-square-foot indoor facility that features indoor soccer fields. Outside, a clover of five grass-infield baseball fields, some with stadium seating, surround a concession stand and bar. The sports complex is supported by more than 1,200 parking spaces, so it can host multiple events at once.
Matteson Community Center
The Matteson Community Center is a 73,000-square-foot facility with a variety of venues including two indoor basketball courts, two baseball diamonds, one soccer field and a football field with seating.
Memorial Park Fields
The five skinned infield softball diamonds at Memorial Park Fields in Midlothian are set in an offset wheel pattern. New in 2013, they feature permanent restroom facilities and concessions, 300-foot fencing and plenty of parking.
Tinley Park Convention Center
Like any good convention center, the Tinley Park Convention Center can host virtually any event. For sports events that require a great deal of space and flexibility from their venue, such as gymnastics, wrestling or cheer, the Tinley Park Convention Center will be a good fit with 70,000 square feet of space (58,000 net contiguous). The facility features two large exhibit halls as well as 13 smaller meeting rooms. There are three sets of restrooms and a concession stand to support a large number of attendees. The convention center is conveniently attached to a Holiday Inn, which has 202 rooms.
Family Entertainment Options Abound
There is never a shortage of things to do and try in Chicago, which is just 30-45 minutes away from most Chicago Southland tournament venues, but the city’s South/Southwest suburbs have their own array of family entertainment and attractions for tournament goers in the area to enjoy. The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn offers fun exhibits such as an art studio, air maze and We the People, which commemorates September 11. KidsWork Children’s Museum, located in Frankfort, has two floors of interactive, kid-friendly exhibits– the first floor deals with science and the second with creativity. Chicago Southland is also home to several nature centers. Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens is an 85-acre park in Palos Heights where visitors can hike or jog along the trails, canoe or kayak on the lake, attend a special event or educational program, or simply enjoy the beauty of the gardens and the abundant opportunities to see wildlife. The region also features family-fun parks like Haunted Trails Family Amusement Center in Burbank, Hollywood Park Family Entertainment Center in Crestwood, Dave & Buster’s in Orland Park and Odyssey Fun World in Tinley Park.
Just South of Chicago
Seven different interstates (I-55, I-57, I-80, I-90, I-94, I-294 and I-355) crisscross through the Chicago Southland, making it easily accessible to the more than 30 million people that live within 300 miles of the area. Chicago’s Midway Airport is a short drive from the South/Southwest suburbs, and O’Hare Airport is just a 30 to 45-minute drive north. More than 50 airlines serve the two airports. The area’s Amtrak stations can be found in Summit and Homewood, and Amtrak trains from around the country go into downtown Chicago’s Union Station.
Being a region that hosts numerous sports and other events year round, Chicagoland is flush with hotels. Chicago Southland alone has more than 6,000 hotel rooms in almost 70 hotels, with even more options a short drive away in downtown Chicago. The Chicago Southland CVB has partnered with many hotels in the area to offer group rates to tournament planners.
- Social media marketing for events
- Volunteer staff
- Grant programs
- PR/media coverage
- Site visits
- Custom online reservations link
- Discounts to local attractions
Chicago Southland’s facilities, local area and convenience are enough to attract tournament planners from across the country, but the Chicago Southland CVB makes the locale even more enticing. “I’d like to thank the Chicago Southland CVB because they have gone above and beyond in helping us put this event on,” said Patti Barnum of the American Taekwondo Association, which put on its Class “A” Tournament in the Chicago Southland. “The staff at the [Chicago] Southland [CVB] is so cooperative and so helpful and they are always ready to help us with anything we need. I’m serious, I love the Chicago Southland.”