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, pro shop, 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 






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 location can’t be beat when attracting many athletes and teams to your event from North Texas and the Panhandle area. The Key City sits along Interstate 20 within a three-hour drive of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area, Lubbock and Midland-Odessa, and four hours from Austin. For competitors farther away, the Abilene Regional Airport also has daily direct flights to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Once your competitors arrive, they’ll find Abilene is just as easy to get around as it is to travel to; fondly known for our 15 minute rush hour. It takes just minutes to travel from one side of town to another, so it never takes long to get from our venues to our 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 Debi Schultz, Director of Sales to see how we can help.



Things to do When You're Not Competing