The Group Travel Section of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, in collaboration with the Arkansas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, knows the importance of sports tourism in the Natural State. Currently, Bentonville, Conway, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Harrison, Hot Springs, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Rogers, Russellville, and Springdale lead the effort in bringing quality events and tournaments to their communities.
Organized sports are a popular pastime in The Natural State, and there is plenty of support for these programs. Arkansas has a variety of professional sports facilities that have been used as sport training facilities by many an Arkansas sports team. These facilities have also hosted many local and national sporting events.
For baseball fans, nothing is better than watching the Arkansas Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, except when they play in-state rivals the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Springdale’s Arvest Ballpark.
Of course, the state is hog wild over its University of Arkansas Razorbacks sports teams, which encompass football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, golf, track, cross country, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis. While the collegiate football and basketball games are the main attractions, significant other events and tournaments are held here. For example, the annual Tyson Invitational brings some of the biggest names in professional and collegiate track and field to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The sport training facilities at the University of Arkansas are also some of the best around.
Other national tournaments and events that have been or are held in Arkansas include 2009 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball First-Round Tournament, the annual P&G Beauty NW Arkansas LPGA Championship, and the prestigious Western Amateur golf tournament.
In addition to these great opportunities to watch your favorite sports, Arkansas is also a top-notch place to find sport training facilities as well as sporting event venues. Fantastic communities and venues host state and national tournaments, and events from baseball or soccer to mountain biking or marathons.
First-class, professional sports facilities for all ages and sanctioned leagues can be found for all traditional sports such as football, softball, golf, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, and track. But Arkansas also provides the perfect background for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rodeo or even ATV competitions. The state slogan is “The Natural State,” after all.
Any competitive sport can be held in Arkansas, and cities are willing to bid for your event. They appreciate the contender spirit and enjoy winning you over to select Arkansas.
Some of our professional sports facilities include the over 53,000-seat War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, which has been host to high school and collegiate football, and even concerts by The Rolling Stones and The Eagles. Verizon Arena is a focal point for sports and entertainment in central Arkansas and hosts special teams like the original Harlem Globetrotters. Hot Springs' 124,200-square-foot Summit Arena is one of the region's most versatile facilities, allowing for seating of 6,200 persons for concerts and similar events and 6,000 for athletic events such as basketball tournaments.
The Natural State Golf Trail highlights some of Arkansas’s finest golf courses. Located in destinations across the state, these elite courses feature difficult holes on sprawling landscapes.
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