New sports venues, renovations and events make Virginia a top sports destination. Below are some highlights:
New Transportation Options for Athletes and Spectators:
AMTRAK Virginia– Passengers can enjoy a single-seat ride from Lynchburg, Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News — and Roanoke as of fall 2017— to Washington, DC, as far north as Boston or across the Commonwealth. Check www.AmtrakVirginia.com for stop off and stop over suggestions.
Washington, DC area Metro subway’s new Silver Line Phase 1 with service to Reston, Virginia is now open. Phase 2 will extend service all the way to Washington Dulles Airport and is expected to open 2020.
BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS
The APEX Center serves as Virginia’s premier exposition and civic center west of Roanoke, playing host to a multitude of community events as well as national shows and competitions. Rodeos, indoor soccer events, consumer shows, motocross, concerts, regional fairs, equine events and dozens of other regional and national events. The center includes a 150’ X 300’ indoor arena with seating for up to 4,000.
Virginia's Blue Ridge has been named an IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center for Mountain Biking. Virginia's Blue Ridge is the only East Coast destination to earn this designation from the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
Glover Park, a brand new 88-acre, tournament-quality athletic complex in Henrico County, features an eight-court premium sand volleyball facility. Opened in March 2018, the man-made volleyball courts are sized and spaced based on NCAA standards and feature the highest quality sand that is washed, screened and well rounded. In addition, Greenwood Park features four lighted multi-purpose organic infill synthetic athletic fields.
Richmond Raceway has undergone an infield redevelopment project, named Richmond Raceway Reimagined. The project brings attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors, and other stakeholders to the historic Richmond infield. The modernized infield launched over NASCAR playoff weekend on September 21-22, 2018.
Liberty University Shooting Complex includes a pistol range, a rifle range, an instructional area, and a three-gun competition range, skeet and trap, 5 stand area, outdoor archery, sporting clays, and biathlon course.
The Liberty University Natatorium features a 50-meter by 25 yards pool, fitting nine Olympic-sized lanes or 20 short course lanes and has a movable bulkhead. A separate 17-foot-deep diving well can fit an additional eight short course lanes and has 1- and 3-meter springboards and a three-column tower, featuring 1, 3, 5, 7.5 and 10-meter platforms. Bleacher seating for 1,400 which wraps round three sides.
COASTAL VIRGINIA - HAMPTON ROADS
The city of Virginia Beach broke ground for the Virginia Beach Sports Center in August 2018. The new 285,000-square-foot complex will have space for 12 basketball courts convertible to 24 volleyball courts and flexible floor space. Indoor articulated track is planned. The expected opening is November 2020.
Coming in spring 2019 to Water Country USA, Cutback Water Coaster will be the only RocketBLAST® coaster on the East Coast and Virginia’s first hybrid water coaster.
Also new for 2019, Busch Gardens will be debuting Finnegan's Flyer. This "Screamin' Swing" will reach a staggering height of more than 80 feet with a speed of 45 mph.
Construction is underway for the ION International Training Center, a year-round, two-rink ice center and the county’s first indoor arena with stadium seating. The 100,000-square-foot center will house two National Hockey League-size rinks serving recreational and professional ice sports, and will also contain a multi-functional floor that will allow the arena to be used for non-ice-related events, including school graduations, sporting tournaments, and concerts. The opening is planned for May 2019.
The Ali Krieger Sports Complex ribbon cutting was held on June 9, 2018. The complex sits on 29.7 acres adjacent to St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School and includes seven rectangular, multi-purpose fields, softball field, playground, concessions and parking area.
The St. James, a new 450,000-square foot sports complex in Springfield, VA, is now open. The complex offers the most comprehensive combination of sports and wellness venues including a FIFA regulation-sized turf field (65-foot ceiling clearance), two NHL regulation-sized ice rinks + training center, four NBA-regulation basketball courts that convert into nine volleyball courts, 50-meter Olympic regulation pool, six batting cages, eight international regulation singles squash courts and seven golf simulators, a premium health club, a spa, and a medicine center, as well as an entertainment center, an indoor water park, shops, and cafes/restaurants.
Widewater State Park opened in November 2018 making it Virginia's 38th state park. The park covers 1,100 acres, including two miles of water frontage along the Potomac River and Aquia Creek.
A state-of-the-art esports arena is set to open at Shenandoah University in August. Inside the 1,571-square-foot arena will be a stage, 12 competitor stations, 70 spectator seats, a broadcasting booth and three 12-foot projector screens on three walls.
Enjoy camping, hammocking, and glamping under the summer stars along the Upper James River Water Trail through Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan. Fire rings and picnic tables are available upon request.
The Jackson River Sports Complex affords a first-class sports facility for events. The sports complex totals 75 acres; with 50 developed acres offering five lighted multi-use athletic fields/press box, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, 20 acres for open turf sports (soccer, flag football), walking area, restrooms, gazebo, covered shelters with electricity, concession areas, playground equipment, ample parking and the River Rock Amphitheatre. The complex offers bleacher and festival seating – allowing fans to feel like they are part of the action.
Enjoy the Virginia Mountain region from a bird’s eye view at Treetop Quest at Explore Park, which opened July 1.
MAJOR & NEW EVENTS IN VIRGINIA (NEW EVENTS DENOTED WITH *)
NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship, Salem – March 2019 & 2021
Featuring the top four teams in NCAA Division III Women's basketball playing for the National Championship in Cregger Field-house on the campus of Roanoke College.
State Games of America, Lynchburg - July 31-Aug. 4, 2019
This Olympic-style event features competition between almost 15,000 medal winners from State Games throughout the country. This is the first time Virginia has been selected to host the Games and is a collaborative effort of Virginia Amateur Sports, Liberty University, and the City of Lynchburg.
Rock n Roll Half Marathon, Virginia Beach – Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2019
Held in conjunction with the American Music Festival, half marathon runners are treated to a 3-day music festival in addition to miles of music on a course finishing on the oceanfront Boardwalk. A half marathon, 5K, and 1 mile run, gives something for everyone.
USWDGC, Spotsylvania – September 2019
Spotsylvania is the host to one of the largest Women’s disc golf scenes in the World.
Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon & 5k, Hampton – October 5-6, 2019
This 2-day event offers a flat, fast and scenic course that takes you through historic downtown, into charming old neighborhoods, and along the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads Harbor. As you run you will encounter live bands, cheer stops, candy stops and finishes at a huge outdoor Craft Brew Fest.
AAU Junior Olympics, Hampton Roads region - July 29 - August 8, 2020
AAU Junior Olympic Games is the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. It has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program.
U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship – August 2020 - Chesterfield
NCAA Women's Lacrosse, Salem – May 2021 DII/DIII; 2022 DIII
Featuring the top 4 teams in each division of the NCAA playing for the National Championship at Kerr Field on the campus of Roanoke College.
NCAA Division III Softball Championship, Salem – May 2021 & 2022
Eight top teams in a double elimination format to crown the National Champion at Salem's Moyer Sports Complex.