SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2015

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

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Page 157 of 171

CVBs & Sports Commissions Sponsored Content December 2015 158 ear-round great weather and numerous amenities make Sarasota County, Fla., the perfect place to train, compete and rejuvenate. Our many venues include Spring Training facilities, a premier rowing park, polo grounds, a BMX track, multi-sport training campuses, tennis courts and numerous golf courses. No matter your sport, play here! The Cradle Of Golf Golf has historic roots in Sarasota County. Sarasota's first mayor, John Hamilton Gillespie, started the first course in the area in the late 1800s. Then, in the 1920s, famed architect Donald Ross built a Bobby Jones Golf Course, which was dedicated by Bobby Jones himself. Race To The Finish Line It's one more year until Nathan Bender- son Park hosts the 2017 World Rowing championships, but this park is more than a rowing course. Residents and visitors alike utilize the park for jogging, biking, fishing, kayaking and more. The park regularly hosts road races, triathlons and other competitions open to all. Take Me Out To The Home Game Sarasota County's Ed Smith Stadium, Spring Training home of the Baltimore Orioles, is utilized 365 days a year for baseball games, concerts, and charitable activities. The facility features nine baseball fields. Avid baseball fans will find Sarasota County within a short drive of seven spring train- ing venues. Train Here & Play Here Multi-sport facilities include the Premier Sports Campus boasting 22 soccer fields at Lakewood Ranch and IMG Academy with 12 soccer fields. These facilities host national and international competitions, develop stu- dent-athletes from around the world, and host training sessions for professional sports teams. If tennis is your sport, train at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy, which was responsible for the development of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova and many more. Another option is the Cedars Tennis Resort on Longboat Key. While you are out there, check out the Sarasota Open, a USTA Pro Circuit Event held every Year at The Resort at Longboat Key Club. In addition, the YMCA Selby Aquatic Center is an outdoor swimming and aquatics facility featuring a recently renovated 50-meter pool and was host to the prestigious Pan American Masters Swimming Championships in 2013. The Sarasota Polo Grounds, one of the largest clubs in the country, covers 130 acres with nine meticulously groomed and irri- gated polo fields, two stick and ball fields and a regulation-sized arena. Runners and bikers can enjoy Sarasota County's network of trails such as Legacy Trail and the Venetian Waterway Trail. Both are excellent places to train while on vacation, and see some natural Florida habitats! After The Game Beyond fields to play and train Sarasota County has much to offer. Relax on a powdery-white beach greeting the azure blue waters on Siesta Key. Splurge in luxury boutiques, delicious dinners, and eclectic nightlife in St. Armands Circle, downtown Sarasota, and downtown Venice. Stop by The Ringling, the State Art Museum of Florida, and enjoy its art museum, circus museum, historic theater, and spectacular 66-acre grounds overlooking the bay. Take a dip in North Port's Warm Mineral Springs or enjoy the flora and fauna of Englewood's tide- water flats and mangrove islands. Stay In Style Sarasota County has 15,000 lodging units available, 5,000 of which are traditional hotel lodging. Accommodations include standard rooms, luxury resorts, long- stay condos and other varieties. With new hotels on the horizon an anticipated additional 1,000 lodging units will be added in the next few years, including in the heart of downtown Sarasota—mak- ing lodging availability better than ever before. To learn more about Sarasota County and our sports venues, visit n Y Rob Wells Director of Sports (941) 955-0991, ext. 105 Sarasota County Sports Commission The Place To Compete & Play On Florida's Gulf Coast

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