A new year means new venues and facilities for planners to have a ball with. We’ve put together a sampling of what 2016 will bring. Be sure to check out our annual Sports Facilities Guide, coming out in March, for a complete listing of where to plan events this year.
What does $22.5 million and the backing of baseball’s “Iron Man” bring you? One of the finest facilities you’ll ever see—worth an estimated $40 million annually in sports tourism dollars in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on the footsteps of the Great Smoky Mountains. Featuring six fields modeled after professional ballparks—including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where Cal Ripken starred in Baltimore—The Ripken Experience also has elite training equipment and batting cages, as well as a two-level, 14,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse overlooking the playing grounds. First pitch is slated for March 9.