A can-do attitude, rich resources and outstanding venues separate Pennsylvania from the pack.
From Allentown to Erie,Wilkes-Barre to Zelienople, and every destination in between, no event is too big or too small for PA Sports members. Marking its 17th year as an organization in 2020, PA Sports hasn’t wavered from its mission: showcase Pennsylvania as a viable sports event destination by attracting and hosting international, national, regional, and local sporting events. “PA Sports is a one-stop shop in a sports-centric state,” said R. Ron Sertz, chairman for PA Sports. Sertz describes the group as dedicated, talented, and continuously growing in expertise. Rights holders and event organizers have come to depend on the individual members’ expertise and experience in hosting successful events.
The outline for partnership between the original six members actually began in 2003 on a napkin. Those in attendance wanted to open up collaboration with one another to find the perfect fit for events. They wanted to make sure events would stay in Pennsylvania, helping to enhance the economic impact of events held in the state. The Pennsylvania Department of Tourism, as well as state and local legislators from across the state, recognized the importance of sports tourism.
For Pennsylvania, that economic impact from sports tourism has value that extends beyond the actual competition. The state is fortunate to be a 12-month vacation destination and has long been a popular travel destination. From sleek cityscapes and charming small towns to ugged woodlands and a lush countryside, there are endless options to explore. Extending tourism beyond the events is a significant part of the PA Sports mission. Athletes, their families, coaches, and officials all contribute to Pennsylvania’s local and state economies.
PA Sports has 13 members and the experience to handle every event. When that experience is coupled with nearby vacation possibilities, planners have a winning combination for their event. Philadelphia’s PHL Sports has a history of handling big time events. The city has hosted the annual Army-Navy game 86 times. Philadelphia has the space, including a Sports Complex that houses three world-class venues that have attracted the NFL Draft, NHL Winter Classic, NCAA Championships and others. Any competitor traveling to Philadelphia should extend their stay with a visit to Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center and so many other attractions tied to America’s Birthplace. When a new eSports event became available, Hershey Harrisburg Sports and Events Authority was the first choice.The Hershey-Harrisburg region hosted the U.S. Junior Nationals Hershey Showcase, with teams from 15 states accounting for more than 4,500 room nights.
For the seventh year the event sold out with more than 132 teams competing. There’s family fun at Chocolate Town U.S.A. featuring Hershey Park® and Hershey’ Chocolate World. Just a few years ago, SportsPITTSBURGHwon the rights to host moreNCAAeventsthananyotherdestinationintheUnitedStates. Pittsburgh’s facilities are legendary. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) has hosted the USA Karate National Championship, the annual East Coast Volleyball Championship, the annual Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest, and many others at both the PPG Paints Arena and Robert Morris University Island Center. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium are visitor favorites.
The Erie Sports Commission Is a one-stop shop for hosting sporting events in Pennsylvania’s only Great Lakes port. The organization has twice been named National Sports Commission of the year, and the location is ideal – central to three major cities, and flush with stateof-the-art facilities eager to host sporting events. The Erie Insurance Arena has previously hosted the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships, and will host the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four for the second time in 2021.
Presque Isle State Park is the region’s most popular attraction. The peninsula boasts seven miles of sandy beaches, numerous boat launches and 25 miles of trails, offering a popular destination for both events and recreation. Extend your stay in Erie enjoying its many waterfront activities, or in Lake Erie Wine Country, the largest grape-growing region east of the Rocky Mountains. With Penn State University right down the street, The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau has access to top-of-the-line facilities. Bryce Jordan Center has hosted multiple NCAA-Big 10 and PIAA Championships. Pegula Ice Arena has the best amenities college hockey offers. Penn State’s wildly popular Berkey Creamery and a nearby tourist coal mine are must sees when away from the competition. Only 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, the Butler County Sports Commission provides more than 50 indoor and outdoor venues.
The UPMC Lemieux Sports Center is the primary practice and training facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Slippery Rock University has venues for all imaginable sports. Cooper’s Lake features a variety of terrains. More than a dozen area attractions have made Butler a visitor favorite. Just 20 minutes east of Pittsburgh, VM Sports Monroeville Sports Tourism features multiple venues. Monroeville Convention center has hosted Tyrant Wrestling, Pittsburgh Fitness expo and others.
Ten soccer fields at CNX Sports Complex at Turner Valley have all the amenities. Four newly turfed fields are found at Monroeville Baseball Park. With Pittsburgh so close, visitors will have no difficulty filling their day. Chester County’s Brandywine Valley is located near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania’s southeast. Ice Line Quad Rinks features four rinks and a restaurant on site. United Sports is a multi-sports complex, ideal for tournaments. Westtown School features space for tennis, crosscountry, basketball and wrestling competitions.Take time to visit the Best Botanical Garden in the U.S. Longwood Gardens.
The Valley Preferred Cycling Center is home to cycling events for Discover Lehigh Valley Sports. The Velodrome and the Trexlertown roadsareknownaroundtheworldasbestinclass.In your leisure time the former ArtsQuest at Steel Stacks always has events and celebrations, concerts and festivals. Outstanding venues ensure Valley Forge Sports has the right facility for numerous field and indoor events. The newly renovated Greater Philadelphia Expo Center features 240,000 square feet of uninterrupted space. Nine outdoors lighted and one indoors turf field are available for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.
Competitive Edge Sports is a premier volleyball and basketball facility with five hardwood floors. Nearby Valley Forge is a history lesson all Americans should experience. Less than two hours from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Sport York offers exceptional facilities. York Expo Center’s Utz Arena is perfect for gymnastics, wrestling, and cheerleading, while the 72-acre Memorial Park Softball Complex accommodates softball on an eight-field complex with batting cages and Hoffman Stadium, plus beach volleyball and a skate park. Check out one of the three Harley-Davidson factory tours in the York Vehicle Operations Plant.
Visit Johns town has a far-reaching history of hosting big-time sports events. 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial has been home to wrestling, basketball, cheer, and volleyball events. Stonycreek River with 15 rapids in four miles is ideal for kayaking and canoeing competitions. The 140 miles of trails in Rock Run Recreation Area is a prime destination for ATV, UTV, and OHV. Put the Johnstown Flood Museum on your to-do list.
Located in the foothills of the Pocono mountains, Visit Luzerne County is less than two hours from Philadelphia and New York City. The Mohegan Sun Arena continues to host PA Junior Wrestlers tournaments. Hockey tournaments are regularly drawn to the Toyota Sports Arena. The Wyoming Sports Dome with its 67-foot ceilings is popular with numerous soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball tournaments. There are fun attractions both indoors and outdoors in the Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and Pittston area. Let your games begin at sportsinpa.com