SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2017

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

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September 2017 24 www.sportseventsmagazine.com Special Feature: CONVENTION CENTERS exhibit hall and arena, including the National Cheerleaders Association compe- tition, which has returned to the facility for more than 20 years. This year's competi- tion attracted more than 6,500 attendees. Ocean Center has also hosted the National High School Drill Team Championships with 5,278 attendees, the Joseph Volleyball Camps, state cheer and dance competitions, with more than 8,100 attendees; the Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit Championships, with more than 9,600 attendees; and Team Florida Gymnastics with 54 teams. "A majority of the events are repeat customers," said Angela Daniels, director of sales and marketing and event services for Ocean Center. "The sporting events are great economic engines for our com- munity, not only for the Ocean Center and hotels, but restaurants, attractions, shopping and other venues in our community." The list of events held at the center continues with the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders, Sports Tours International Daytona Beach Shootout basketball tourna- ment, the Land of Magic Classic Basketball Tournament, the East Coach Cheer com- petition, Ace Gymnastics and the Bacon Beatdown, a CrossFit competition. New events slated include USA Gymnastics PAGU Championships for Rhythmic and Acrobatic Gymnastics, the US Specialty Sports Association National Conference and the Sports Network International Cheerleading event. "The National Cheerleaders Association utilizes other venues surrounding the Ocean Center, such as the band shell, an outdoor amphitheater and the Peabody Auditorium, which is a performing arts center," Daniels said. "The Ocean Center is steps away from the Atlantic Ocean and County of Volusia beaches. Accommodations, restau- rants, attractions and shopping are within walking distance, which makes it great for spectators and families. The arena is perfect for spectators, with seating around 9,300." Ford Park Entertainment Complex in Beaumont, Texas offers five facilities on 221 acres, including the Ford Arena, Ford Exhibit Hall, Ford Pavilion, Ford Midway and Ford Fields, making this a truly versa- tile facility for sporting events. With stadium seating from 2,300 to 8,500, the arena has 34,000 square feet of exhibit floor space, a 2,448-square-foot VIP Club, and a 1,108-square-foot patio. The exhibit hall has 48,000 square feet of floor space with 11,000 square feet of lobby or pre-function space that can be configured for gymnastics, martial arts competitions and other events. The facility also features the Ford Park Midway, home to the YMBL South Texas State Fair on nine acres of paved midway that can be used for festivals and rodeos. The midway includes a 45,000 square foot covered and enclosed practice area and a 25,000 square foot covered and enclosed barn. The complex is minutes from Beaumont's 3,500 hotel rooms, restaurants and attractions. n Sports Thrive In Raleigh Convention Center The 500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center has hosted a number of impres- sive sporting events during the last decade for groups of 50 to more than 5,000, according to Mara Craft, director of sales. Located in the competitive hotbed of the ACC's 'tobacco road' and home to a Stanley Cup-winning hockey team, the conven- tion center has hosted the NHL All-Star Weekend and major tournaments. With a 150,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall, sports such as basketball, volleyball, wres- tling, martial arts, gymnastics and cheerleading find ample space for games to occur simultaneously. Exhibit Hall doors can be opened for a mezzanine-level view or closed for ticket-based events. The ballroom also features soaring ceilings, alcoves and 33,000-square-feet of flexible space for banquets, team dinners with seating for 3,600 theater-style or 2,600 for banquets and team dinners. The convention center features a fiber-optic data network, high speed internet access and free wireless connection throughout the building and the 20 meeting rooms located throughout the facility are versatile. The 400-room Raleigh Marriott City Center is connected to the center and offers additional meeting space, while the recently opened 10-story Residence Inn by Marriot offers 175 all-suite accommodations. The Sheraton Hotel is less than a block away from the convention center and offers 355 rooms and meeting space. In total, the Greater Raleigh area boasts more than 14,000 guest rooms, including the Five Diamond Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. The Red Hat Amphitheater and the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center also pro- vide additional space for awards banquets or entertainment following the game. n

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