What's New in Sports
New sports venues, renovations and events make Virginia a top sports destination. Below are some highlights:
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 with the Silver Line Metrorail extension expected to operational in Fall of 2022.
Starting in 2022, an additional round-trip Amtrak train to Roanoke will depart DC in the morning and serve Alexandria, Burke, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.
BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS
Four new boat landings and river access points have been added to the The New River Water Trail in Giles County.
Wintergreen Resort has added a new 9-hole putter disc golf course.
Kings Dominion debuted Virginia’s first 4D Spin Coaster in March. Tumbili suspends riders on either side of the track as the cars flip continuously throughout the ride. Featuring state-of-the-art magnetic technology that induces and controls spinning, this 4D Spin Coaster gives riders the feeling of weightlessness as they cruise along the track tumbling and spinning head over heels in the rainforest tree canopy.
Work continues on the 115,166 continuous-square-foot event space with the opening planned for September 2023. The Henrico County Sports Complex will offer 12 NCAA basketball courts and 24 volleyball courts. The equipment is state-of-the-art ceiling-mounted allowing for rapid changes. A championship/convocation venue seats 3,500-plus.
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 - EASTERN SHORE
Iron Pony Adventure Park, Chincoteague Island’s newest attraction for family fun, recently opened to the public. Guests can climb to new heights & experience the thrill of 30+ aerial obstacles on 2 full levels. Take yourself to the edge and try the pony plunge, a 26-foot-high leap of faith.
COASTAL VIRGINIA - HAMPTON ROADS
The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex is set to make a big splash this Fall. This state-of-the-art facility is the largest of its kind in Virginia. 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. Spectator seating for 1,500 overlooks the eight-lane, 50-meter pool with two moveable bulkheads. Seating for 760 athletes occupies the wide, spacious pool decks for the smoothest of swim and dive event execution.
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 is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts a diverse roster of sporting events and tournaments. The new 285,000-square-foot complex has space for 12 basketball courts convertible to 24 volleyball courts and flexible floor space as well as an Indoor articulated track.
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.
In fall 2021, Arlington County opened the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center, a 92,000 square foot modern aquatics and recreation facility that serves the needs of health- conscious, fun-seeking and active individuals and families. Located near I-395 along the Potomac River, the center also features three full-size athletic fields overlooking views of Washington, DC.
Chill-Axe-In’ axe throwing recently opened in Brandy Station. A perfect spot for friends who want to try out axe throwing and have a great time.
Patriot Park North is Fairfax County’s new baseball and softball complex, it consists of four 90-foot diamonds, two 70-foot diamonds, batting cages, a press box and much. The facility is set to open in Spring of 2023.
Capital One Center, a vibrant, mixed-use entertainment epicenter has arrived in Tysons! Features include a new performing arts center called Capital One Hall and a 1.2-acre skypark that brings an amphitheater and biergarten anchored by Starr Hill Brewery, a dog park, a sculpture garden, a pop-up food truck experience, and mini-golf to Fairfax County. Capital One Hall’s 1,600-seat theater will host more than 200 pop/rock, Broadway, and comedy performances annually. The site is Metro accessible and also home to the new all-suites Watermark Hotel.
Opening in Fall of 2022, Hal & Berni Hanson Regional Park features 10 multi-purpose soccer fields, two turf fields and four baseball/softball fields, a cricket field, four tennis/pickleball courts, grandstands batting cages and much more.
The Ballpark Loudoun opened July Fourth weekend. America’s Favorite Pastime…Re-Imagined, The Ballpark Loudoun will be a unique and fun active entertainment experience that combines integrated cutting-edge technologies, top-of-the-line skill development opportunities and a full-service restaurant and bar, to create a custom experience for all ages and skill levels. The Ballpark Loudoun will have four HitTrax™ Suites, which are interactive batting cages that combine eSports with our national pastime. Game opportunities range from team competitions to home run challenges and can take place in a virtual backdrop setting of more than 40 ballparks from across the country.
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.
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 seats 8,500 for basketball games, It features state-of-the-art technology such as video boards, lighting and sound. The facility is now open.
A state-of-the-art esports arena is open at Shenandoah University, within 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 was held on June 5th, 2022 in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The race included 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.
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.