SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2016

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

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Page 111 of 165

CVBs & Sports Commissions Sponsored Content December 2016 110 onway, Arkansas, is a city with a lot going for it. Just 30 minutes from Little Rock, Conway is one of the fast- est-growing cities in Arkansas and is filled with beautiful outdoor spaces and recreation; a vibrant downtown; and a population of active young families. But recently, Conway also became an award-winning sports event destination. It's time to take a closer look at the city that's ready to make your next sports event a huge hit. Natural Beauty, State-Of-The Art Facilities Conway has long been a sports adven- ture destination. Home to scenic lakes and parks, Conway draws thousands of guests with its outstanding fishing, boat- ing and hiking. Infused with an active spirit and a growing young population, Conway built a variety of parks and recreation centers for sports and recre- ational activities over the years, and its park system flourished. But about eight years ago, the city leaders took a look around and made a crucial discovery: the only thing preventing Conway from being one of America's best sports des- tinations was a lack of places to play. That's when they got to work. Embarking on a plan that would meet a growing community need as well as provide a state-of-the-art experience for visiting tournaments, Conway con- structed two new baseball and softball facilities in the past several years. In 2010, Conway unveiled City of Colleges Park, a five-field girls' softball complex that immediately garnered attention, events and awards. The Arkansas Rec- reation and Parks Association (ARPA) named City of Colleges Park a 2010 Facility of the Year. With one grand slam under its belt, Conway made another swing for the fences with Conway Station Park, a base- ball facility that offers nine fields, shaded stands, modern fencing and a large main building/concession area. Once again, the parks and rec experts of the state took notice, naming Conway Station Park a 2011 Facility of the Year. Sports event planners took notice as well. In April 2011, Conway hosted the largest baseball tournament in the state's history at the time, the Centennial Bank Conway Classic. This USSSA base- ball tournament took place at Conway Station and City of Colleges Park. The event drew 94 teams with players ages 7-14 from Arkansas, Tennessee, Okla- homa and Louisiana. Since that time, USSSA has continued to host tourna- ments in Conway almost every weekend throughout the summer. Don't get the impression that baseball is the only game in town, though. Conway is rich with indoor facilities and has the tournament resume to prove it. Each July, HoopPlay USA brings a 200-team youth basketball tournament to town. To accommodate the three-day event, the community arranged for the use of more than 20 area courts. In 2012, Conway was selected as the new home of the state athletic associa- tion's All-Star Games for high school seniors as well as the coaches' clinic that takes place during the same week. This event is made possible due to the great working relationship the CVB has with all three of the colleges in town as well as the parks department and area high schools. Facilities from each of these or- ganizations were used to accommodate the week-long event that will be held in Conway each June from 2013-2017. Sports at Every Level Youth sports are huge in Conway, but the city is also home to three institutions of higher learning: Central Baptist Col- lege, Hendrix College and the University of Central Arkansas. A Division I program, the University of Central Arkansas athletics program has facilities that have grown and prospered along with its successful sports teams. In recent years, UCA has experienced the most prodigious development of its athletics facilities in the 100-plus year history of the school, with nearly every facility receiving major upgrades. A new state-of-the-art strength and condition- ing complex opened in 2012. If sports are what bring you to Conway, we hope hospitality is what keeps you coming back. Conway has 1,200 hotel rooms, many of which are less than five years old, as well as more than 200 restaurants and an ever-grow- ing retail marketplace to keep you enter- tained in your down time. n C Rachel Shaw, Director of Destination Marketing (501) 932-5409 or (866) 7CONWAY Conway CVB "Conway's location just off I-40, 25 miles from Little Rock and a national airport, makes it an easily accessible location for travelers. Once you are in town, most of our hotels are no more than a five- or 10-minute drive from each other making travel to and through Conway easy for everyone." Conway, Arkansas…Your Destination For Sports

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