With its historical importance in agriculture, Wisconsin is affectionately referred to as America’s Dairyland. Visitors can enjoy some of the best cheese in the country and appreciate the state’s Native American heritage and cultural diversity. Not only do tourists journey to Wisconsin for its various festivals, historic sites and scrumptious dairy products, but also for its rolling, wooded terrain and numerous lakes, which make it ideal for recreational activities. Wisconsinites love to get outside and participate in all kinds of sports, from fishing and hiking to hockey and football. There is no limit to what this state can provide for sports planners and their teams.
Sports Facilities in Milwaukee
While it may have a reputation as a brew city, Milwaukee offers up plenty more than hops and barley. This metropolis, the largest in Wisconsin, serves up a platter of noteworthy attractions, eclectic nightlife and thrilling sports events. Not only is it home to two of the state’s professional sports teams, but it also has major universities and amateur leagues to keep people entertained. With all these athletes to cater to, you know Milwaukee also features numerous elite sports venues that are perfectly suited for a variety of events and tournaments.
The Pettit National Ice Center is an official U.S. Olympic Training Facility that features a 400-meter oval and two international-sized ice rinks. It also has a running and walking track that is open daily. A 150-capacity hall overlooks the ice arena, so spectators can get a nice view of all the action. It has hosted such events as the World Series Speed Skating competition and U.S. National Short Track Championship.
Situated right next to Miller Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, Helfaer Stadium is one of the premier locations for youth baseball and softball. It features a big league scoreboard, lighting for night games, 502 bleacher seats and an additional 220 concourse seats. The facility is equipped with many of the same features as Miller Park, giving players a major league experience on a smaller scale.
Marquette University, known for basketball, has many sports venues that are perfect for hosting any number of events. Valley Fields serves as the home of Marquette’s soccer, track and lacrosse teams. It is a three-field complex, with a natural grass soccer stadium, a newly added FieldTurf facility and a smaller practice field. Next to the fields is the Shimek Track & Field Facility.
The Bradley Center is home to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, the Amateur Hockey League Milwaukee Admirals, arena football’s Milwaukee Mustangs and Marquette men’s basketball. The downtown arena has seating for 18,600 for basketball games and 17,800 for hockey.
One of the best parts about Milwaukee is that it is right next to Lake Michigan. You can get your team right near the action over at Bradford Beach, which offers dozens of sand volleyball courts and open space for hosting your sports tournament. The beach features concessions and even a tiki bar so parents, friends and other fans can relax between matches.
Located in the central part of the state, Madison is the capital of Wisconsin and one of the most vibrant college towns around.
“Madison has a vibe unto itself, there’s really no place like it,” says Jamie Patrick, director of the Madison Area Sports Commission. “We have really good people who are experts in their athletic area, so you know you’ll be taken care of here.”
Not only will sports planners feel welcome by the residents of Madison, but also by the hospitality. Madison has over 9,000 hotel rooms that can meet anyone’s budget or amenity requirements.
Keva Sports Center, one of the most popular Madison sports facilities, features indoor and outdoor fields for sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball and flag football. Keva has three playing surfaces, two field turfs and two suspended hardwood basketball floors. The 100,000-square-foot venue can accommodate year-round play.
Redden Soccer Park is run by the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association. They rent out the facility for various sports events, including football and lacrosse. The 60-acre venue hosts more than 1,000 games and eight major tournaments on a yearly basis with participants from all over the country.
Sports planners cannot go wrong with the Alliant Energy Center, a 164-acre multi-building facility that features an exhibition hall, coliseum, arena and 29-acre outdoor venue. Exhibition Hall offers 255,000 square feet of space that can be transformed into a variety of layouts for conventions, trade shows, concerts and sporting events. Veteran Memorial Coliseum has undergone several upgrades in the last couple years, improving its seating, locker rooms and sound system. It can seat up to 10,231 spectators and offers versatile surfaces to suit any and all types of sports. The Arena is a slightly smaller venue, but just as good for hosting events, including horse shows, ice hockey matches and other indoor tournaments. Its grandstand seats 550 people, and it is connected to the other buildings for easy access to concessions and amenities.
Middleton High School features a stadium, varsity gym, field house, indoor pool, baseball fields and tennis courts. Many of its facilities have undergone renovations recently, providing them with the latest technology and equipment available. The school has hosted numerous big-name tournaments and is the permanent home of the Big Eight Conference swimming and diving meets.
Just a couple hours north of Milwaukee, Green Bay is one of the most renowned sports cities in Wisconsin. Sundays in the fall are dominated by Packers football games, but the city embraces a whole range of sports, from hockey and volleyball to soccer and wrestling. With everything conveniently located within a few miles, it’s easy to get around.
The Resch Center is home to many of Green Bay’s professional sports teams, including the Blizzard Arena Football and the Gamblers hockey teams. It is also where the University of Wisconsin Green Bay plays its men’s and women’s basketball games. The arena seats 10,500 people.
Right next to the Resch Center is Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, a venue that has been part of the Green Bay community for over 50 years. A slightly smaller building—only 7,500 seats—the venue plays host to over 95,000 people every year.
If you are in the market for a hockey venue, look no further than Cornerstone Community Ice Center. Part of the Ashwaubenon Sports Complex, the ice center is the home of Green Bay Area Youth Hockey, St. Norbert Green Knight Hockey and the Cornerstone Skating Club.
The Green Bay Phoenix is an elite collegiate athletic program, with a number of different venues available to use for your next sports event. Aldo Santaga Stadium is home of the university men’s and women’s soccer team. It is a lighted, natural grass field with approximately 3,500 grandstand seats. There are also six regulation practice fields, two of which are lighted.
Wisconsin Dells is a resort town, affectionately known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” Since the town built its reputation on being a family-friendly and active place, it is no surprise that its sports scene is just as popular as its waterparks, even if it is in its early stages.
“Because we’re somewhat new to the sports game, our facilities are new and have been built with today’s athletes in mind,” said Melanie Platt-Gibson, director of marketing & communications for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau. Not only are there plenty of accommodations—8,000 hotel rooms—but Wisconsin Dells also offers a comfortable and personal experience for all.
“When you play here, you deal directly with our local business owners,” says Platt-Gibson. “We’re fond of saying you get all the perks of being a ‘big fish in a small town’ because you won’t be one of many, so you will get the attention you deserve from everyone you come in contact with here.”
The Wisconsin Dells Center at Chula Vista Resort is a 90,000-square-foot, multi-purpose facility designed to host numerous sports events. The dome can accommodate up to 12 basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts. It can also be transformed into an indoor football field with Astroturf playing surfaces, as well as a venue for indoor softball and baseball events.
JustAgame Fieldhouse specializes in a number of indoor athletic events, including basketball, volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics. The venue features eight volleyball courts or four basketball courts and can easily be converted for any kind of event. There is plenty of space to set up tournament headquarters, registration booths and concessions.
The Poppy Waterman Ice Arena is located in the village of Lake Delton, right next to Wisconsin Dells. It is home to the Dells/Delton Area Hockey Association. The venue just installed a second sheet of ice and now features two rinks for more competitions and events. The association will gladly offer any assistance you may need when planning your hockey tournament.
There is an appreciation for sports in Wisconsin unlike any other, and sports teams will find an unbeatable array of venues, accommodations and attractions to make their athletic event extra special.