Where Champions are Made

5 Reasons Abilene is Ideal for Sports Events

State-of-the-art facilities, courts of all kinds and an ideal location. Abilene isn’t just a city for sports; it’s where champions are made. Whether you’re planning a gymnastics meet, tennis tournament or a powerlifting competition, Abilene has everything you need for a successful event. It’s not just about venues, hotels and ease of access.

Friendly volunteers make your competitors feel like pros, and the community gets behind events with the kind of major-league enthusiasm you won’t find anywhere else. Read on to find out why Abilene is such a great place to host your tournament. 


State-of-the-art Facilities



Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center

Newly opened in 2020, the Center offers 55,500-square feet of space to the city's impressive lineup of sports venues. The complex features state-of-the-art amenities including:

  • Four regulation-sized basketball courts 
  • Eight regulation-sized volleyball courts
  • Meeting space and concession stand
  • Robbins Sports Surface, maple wood, NCAA Division 1 class flooring
  • 50 televisions throughout the center, as well as the latest in audiovisual equipment: Playsight automated live stream and multi-angle video recording.



Shotwell Annex Football
Soccer & Track Field 

Located on the northwest side of Shotwell Stadium, the Shotwell Annex boasts a new multi-million dollar facility that includes:

  • Daktronics scoreboard
  • Pressbox
  • 1,000 seats
  • Restrooms
  • Concession stand





Edwards Softball at
McMurry University 


This newly-build field made its debut on Feb. 16, 2020, with a home team win! The stadium includes:

  • 300 seats
  • 4" sand base for better drainage
  • Tif-419 Bermuda turf
  • Home with visitor bullpens
  • WiFi access in 10-person press box
  • Nevco LED video board and 9-inning scoreboard 




Taylor County Expo Center

The most outstanding equestrian center in the Southwest just wrapped up a $55-million expansion and renovation. The Center includes:

  • Coliseum: 30,000 sq. ft. exhibit area with 5,000 seats
  • Taylor Telecom Area: 39,000 sq. ft. air-conditioned competition arena with 5,603 seats
  • Guitar Arena: 45,000 sq. ft. open-sided arena
  • First Financial Pavilion: 200-yard x 100-yard barn housing 800 stalls and a 250'x100' arena
  • Covered Horse Stalls: 1,200 with five wash racks
  • Entertainment Pavilion: 40 ft. wide entertainment stage with 1,000 seats
  • Big Country Hall: 8,000 sq. ft. space that can host 500 guests
  • Display Building: 18,000 sq. ft. capable of handling 85 10'x10' exhibitors or 900 seated dinner guests
  • Modern Living Mall: 15,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space
  • Round Building: 18,000 sq. ft. of versatile convention space
  • RV Hookups: 500 RV hookups




Our Venues Can Handle Any Sport

From baseball and softball to tennis and track and field, Abilene is full of venues that can accommodate just about anything. Popular for regional and national events, the Lake Kirby Softball and Baseball Complex has two little league and two senior league baseball fields and four softball fields, all with lights and seating for 150 spectators. The Nelson Park Complex adds a further five lighted baseball fields that can accommodate 800 spectators, making it a great option for larger competitions.

For equestrian events, powerlifting, gymnastics, pole vaulting, wrestling and a long list of other sports, consider the Taylor County Expo Center. Currently undergoing a $55 million renovation with an expected completion date in Spring 2021, the center hosts more than 200 events throughout the year including the West Texas Fair & Rodeo and the Texas High School Rodeo State Championships.

Hosting a track and field event? The facilities at Abilene Christian University, McMurry University and Hardin-Simmons University have hosted the likes of the AAU Track and Field Junior Olympic regional qualifier, American Southwest Conference Track and Field Championships. Abilene is a hotspot for tennis as well, with the courts at the Rose Park Tennis Center and the three universities hosting United States Tennis Association youth and adult tournaments, UTR tournaments and big-time events like the Texas Slam, which brings 1,000 highest ranked youth tennis players to compete.

See a list of all of Abilene's sports facilities that will be perfect for your competition here.




We’ll Help You Up Your Game

Before your competitors arrive to give it their all on the field, you may need an assist of your own while planning and executing your event. That’s where the team at the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau comes in. Coordinating facility inspection tours and assisting with hotel rates and discounts at restaurants are among the many ways we can give you an assist. We’ll even help you get the word out through local media channels, and our volunteers will have your athletes feeling like stars. There are even grants that you may qualify for.



Abilene is Centrally Located

Abilene’s central location can’t be beat when attracting athletes and teams to participate in events.

The welcoming city sits along Interstate 20, a two-hour drive from Fort Worth, Lubbock and Midland-Odessa, and just four hours from Austin or San Antonio.

For competitors farther away, Abilene Regional Airport offers daily direct flights to and from DFW and Houston International.

Fondly known for its 15-minute rush hour, Abilene is easy to navigate. It only takes minutes to zip from one side of town to the other, a quick trip to sports venues, hotels and restaurants.

Abilene’s easy-to-reach location and abundance of first-rate facilities make it the ideal choice for all kinds of competitions. Plan your next event here. Ready to get started? Check out our brochure and submit your request for a proposal.

Contact Sports Marketing Director Tiffany Nichols to see how we can help.

Things to do When You're Not Competing