These Emerging Destinations Are Ready to Host

by Mary Helen Sprecher

MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION can rejuvenate a sports event. After all, it brings in new athletes, new spectators and a change of venue. You get different weather, different surroundings and of course, great new professionals to work with at the CVB or sports commission. SDM has gathered up some destinations on the rise. If you're looking for a new home for your event, make sure these are on your must-see list. They may provide exactly what you're looking for.

California: Camarillo

Nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Ca­marillo is located just an hour northwest of Los Angeles and 40 minutes southeast from Santa Barbara. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, life in Camarillo is lived al fresco; visitors can enjoy concerts and fine dining in the ocean breeze or golfing and horseback riding in the moimtain air.

Over the years, Camarillo has made a name for itself in the youth sport tournament industry as it's home to numerous sports facilities and tournaments. Bob Kildee Community Park sits on 12.95 acres of land and includes eight youth baseball fields, six tennis courts, and indoor aquatic center and a 12,000-square-foot skate park. There's also Freedom Park, which sits on more than 33 acres and has five baseball fields, an inline hockey rink, a gym and Freedom Park BMX Raceway.

When the competition is over and the team is looking to celebrate off the field, Camarillo has plenty to offer during any season. Whether it's exploring the Channel Islands National Park or shopping at the world-class outlet mall, Camarillo is a gem on the California Central Coast. For more information, go to VisitCamarillo.com/Sports.

California: Irvine

Located in the center of Orange County, California, Ir­vine offers the most open space in the county: 16,000 acres featuring sports fields, miles of hiking and biking trails and parklands for recreational activities.

Some of the most beautiful sports facilities and venues in Southern California can be found in Irvine. These include Or­ange County Great Park Sports Complex featuring a 2,500-seat championship stadium, soccer fields, tennis courts, sand volley­ball courts, basketball courts and soon, a 270,000-square-foot ice facility with three National Hockey League standard ice rinks, the University of California, Irvine's aquatic complex and stadium, the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center and numer­ous community sports fields and college facilities for virtually any sporting event.

Centrally located to Orange County's beaches and famous attractions; Irvine is easily accessible by car via multiple inter­states and John Wayne Airport (SNA). Recognized as "Amer­ica's Safest Big City" by the FBI since 2005, Irvine boasts 21 hotels ranging from full-service to extended-stay with more than 4,700 sleeping rooms and the lowest hotel tax in the county at 10 percent versus 17 percent in surrounding cities.

Destination experts are available to help secure the right event location and hotel accommodations. For more information, visit www.destinationirvine.com.

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