What's New in Sports
SPORTS VIRGINIA ARTICLES
Virginia Loves Niche Sports
New sports venues, renovations and events make Virginia a top sports destination. Below are some highlights:
New Transportation Options for Athletes and Spectators:
For the first time since Dulles Airport opened in 1962, travelers will have a fast, easy, inexpensive rapid transit option for getting from Dulles to points throughout Northern Virginia when the Silver Line Metrorail extension opens in 2021.
BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS
Blacksburg Mountain Biking Skills Park opened in July 2019 with a climbing tail and beginner and intermediate flow trails. In September 2020, one of the country’s best music festivals and America’s night race are teaming up to offer an unforgettable experience in Bristol.
The Rhythm and Racing Super Ticket includes a three-day weekend pass to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival and a three-day ticket to all the races at Bristol Motor Speedway, including the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
Four new boat landings and river access points will be added to the The New River Water Trail in Giles County in 2020.
In spring 2020, GearHead Moto Tours will be offering all-inclusive adventure motorcycle tours throughout Southwest Virginia.
Kings Dominion is making waves in 2020, adding three exciting new features to its water park.
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.
Canopy Adventure Park is a new ropes course located in Powhatan County that opened end of October 2019. It has four courses ranging from easy to difficult, 10 ziplines and are already looking at expansion opportunities to include a lower-level course for younger groups.
COASTAL VIRGINIA - HAMPTON ROADS
The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex, Virginia’s largest competitive aquatic facility, is opening summer 2022. Purpose-built for competitive aquatics, the Aquaplex was designed to host Mid-Atlantic and national competitive swimming and diving events, artistic swimming, water polo, and more.
A new Interactive Bike Trails Map was just launched for cyclists to find a variety of bike trails in Newport News. The trails are separated into three categories: road biking, recreational biking and mountain biking, covering many miles of local terrain with varying degrees of difficulty.
Virginia Beach Sports Center opened in the fall of 2020, a state-of-the-art facility that is scheduled to host a diverse roster of sporting events and tournaments. 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 85,000 square foot >Apex Entertainment Virginia Beach opened in December 2020 and offers 24 lanes of bowling, VR experiences, a 95+ game arcade room, mini golf, three escape rooms, go kart track, ropes course, axe throwing, a two story American cuisine restaurant and event space.
The Capital One Center, Capital One's sprawling headquarters complex, will debut in 2021 as a new mixed-use entertainment epicenter in Tysons, featuring a hotel, performing arts venue, retail, and a 1.2-acre skypark that brings green space, a biergarten, dog park, public art, and a pop-up food truck experience to the area. Capital One Hall, a 1,600-seat performing arts center and 300 seat black box theater, will also be available for groups as well as hosting its own events throughout the year.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial dedication will be held August 26, 2020, the Centennial of ratifying the 19th Amendment. The monument will provide an overview of the entire movement, including African American suffragists who are often left out of the history books.
Opened June 2019, the ION International Training Center is a year-round, two-rink ice center and the county’s first indoor arena with stadium seating. The 100,000-square-foot center houses two National Hockey League-size rinks serving recreational and professional ice sports, and will contains 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 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.
The Horizons Edge Sports Campus is a 90,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art sports facility and event complex hosts events for sports, family activities, businesses it includes 4-basketball courts, 6-volleyball courts, a 200 x 100 foot multipurpose/indoor soccer field, and a family entertainment center.
The Atlantic Union Bank Center located on the campus of James Madison University will seat 8,500 for basketball games, It will feature state-of-the-art technology such as video boards, lighting and sound. The facility is set to open for the 2020-2021 basketball season.
A state-of-the-art esports arena at Shenandoah University opened August 2019. Inside the 1,571-square-foot arena is a stage, 12 competitor stations, 70 spectator seats, a broadcasting booth and three 12-foot projector screens on three walls.
The Carilion Clinic IRONMAN® 70.3® Virginia's Blue Ridge triathlon will be held on June 6, 2021, in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The race will include a 1.2-mile swim at Carvins Cove, a 56-mile bicycle ride through Botetourt County and a 13.1 mile run on the Roanoke River Greenway.
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, 2019.
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA - BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS
The Appalachian Trail Center in Damascus is currently scheduled to open in spring 2021 and will be a hub to the Appalachian Trail and the Town of Damascus.