SportsEvents Magazine

FEB 2017

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

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Page 16 of 59 February 2017 17 It's not for nothing that Maine is tagged "Vacationland." The northeast state is compact enough that visitors can get anywhere in the state with relative ease even if they head straight to Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, perhaps the state's primary sports venue, for a tournament. "Visitors to the Cross Insurance Arena may want to experience lobster or a farm-to-ta- ble menu at one of the Old Port's award-winning restaurants, explore Southern Maine's quintessential beach communities or head off to a Western Maine mountain to tackle a trail run or jump on a ski lift," said Sheila Brennan Nee, strategic director of the Maine Sports Commission. "Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Baxter State Park and Moosehead Lake are often destinations for those 'from away' and are within a 90-minute drive from the Bangor region. Maine is a 'wish list' kind of place fans and athletes will want to fully experience during any season." Portland Head Light, the lighthouse in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, just south of Portland, is the start/finish line for the Beach to Beacon 10K every August. Maine's two largest venues suitable for major sports events are the 9,500-person capac- ity Cross Insurance Arena, primarily used for live entertainment but sometimes for sports, and the 5,800-seat arena used primarily for sports in the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, which offers more than 40,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit and function space. There are also a number of university sports venues in the state, as well as additional baseball and soccer fields, ice rinks and other facilities. n Maine Is "Vacationland" RAISE YOUR GAME Whether it's hitting a home run, breaking a speed record, or scoring the winning goal, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have the perfect venue for the ultimate sporting experience. From NCAA championships to Alabama High School Athletic Association events, sports organizations won't fi nd a more inspiring place to play. 866-813-5795 atalie Inouye remembers fondly the days when her family traveled around the West to follow her son's baseball team. "Waterfall hikes, the Sundial Bridge in Redding (CA), Spring Training games in Arizona and watching a baseball game in Malibu overlooking the ocean," said Inouye, who lives in Eugene, OR, "Not a bad way to spend a vacation." From east to west — Maine to Washington — and north to south — Wisconsin to Alabama — and just about everywhere in between, it isn't hard to find a great vacation spot in the United States. But finding destinations that offer quality sporting venues in addition to an array of exciting attractions can be like striking gold. When families have the opportunity to combine a trip to a sporting event with a vacation, they often find it is an offer they can't refuse. "My favorite tournament experiences were with my son in baseball," Inouye ► t SPECIAL Feature N

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