SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 21 of 67

September 2016 22 Special Feature: CONVENTION CENTERS Convention Centers That LOVE SPORTS! FORD PARK in Beaufort, TX hosts everything from Ironman and Run or Dye to roller derby tournaments, cheerleading nationals and more At Ford Park, the facility's indoor ex- tras include high ceilings, 93,000 contigu- ous square feet of event space, dressing rooms, locker rooms and showers, pro- duction offices, a professional event staff and complimentary marketing services. The 8,500-seat multi-purpose Ford Arena hosts concerts, rodeos, circuses, motor sports and many other special events. LANDERS CENTER in Southaven, MS has 23 event spaces including a multi-purpose arena and a convention center. Just south of Memphis, TN, the facility offers 40,000 square feet of event space including two contiguous 17,000-square-foot spaces in the conven- tion center, an 8,400-seat multi-purpose arena and a 400-seat theater. The arena has a Jumbotron, a state-of-the-art sound and video system, an ample number of restrooms and comfortable seating. "We are a one-stop shop, offering a flexible space, just minutes from Mem- phis with plenty of parking amenities," said Joel Crews, director of event oper- ations at the facility. "We offer a profes- sional staff and our event-day operations are top-notch." The Landers Center 3,000-space parking lot is also available for various events. THE CLASSIC CENTER in Athens, GA has expanded to a 56,000 square foot ex- hibit space and the staff has embraced the ability to host sports events. An expan- sion in 2013 provided more space for the Center and telescopic seating and an ice rink were added in 2014. "We're relatively new in terms of offering the arena for sports and the ice rink really opened our eyes up to the pos- sibilities for hosting athletic tournaments in that space," said Bryant. "This past year, we began working with some local partners like the University of Georgia hockey team and Classic City Rollergirls, working with them on larger tournaments, and reaching out to governing bodies. This past summer, we hosted our first roller derby tournament and had eight teams from across the country ranging from San Antonio to Long Island. What a neat thing to bring to Athens, Georgia!" The Classic Center also hosts the Made in the USA Sports Festival Gymnastics Invitational annually and last year hosted the Region 8 High School State Gymnas- tics Tournament. A 192-room Hyatt Place hotel is ex- pected to open across the street from The Classic Center spring 2017 and will be attached to the facility. THE BIRMINGHAM-JEFFERSON CON- VENTION COMPLEX (BJCC) in Bir- mingham, AL, will host the 2017 Senior Games and the 2021 World Games. "The BJCC has used its exhibit space for many sporting events over the years, including volleyball, wrestling and basketball," said Bobby Breedlove, the facility's director of event management. "Many organizers look to Birmingham for their sporting events because we not only have great space for it but we also have a local fan base that just loves sports and will come see matches no matter what sport it is." Breedlove is excited to introduce BJCC to new national and international audienc- es when it hosts two prestigious events in coming years: the 2017 Senior Games and the 2021 World Games. "We have 220,000 square feet of exhibit space that we've used for sporting events and the reception for those events has put the BJCC on the map for others to come use the open, flexible space for their sport as well," Breedlove said. "It also helps that we have about 1,000 hotel rooms within the footprint of the conven- The Classic Center The Classic Center

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