The country’s attention will be on basketball soon thanks to March Madness. To celebrate, we are revisiting a great debate: What are the best venues to host basketball tournaments? Some esteemed sports tourism officials answered our call for opinions. Here are the results.
This Kansas City, Missouri, facility has hosted more basketball national championships than any other venue, notes NAIA Director of Championships Mike Higgins. It’s a “cool, ‘Hoosiers’ style arena, where every seat is a great one,” he says. No wonder it has hosted 44 NAIA championships and eight Final Fours.
Myrtle Beach Sports Center
Huddle Up Group Founder and CEO Jon Schmieder is a big fan of the relatively new (it opened in 2015) South Carolina complex. The eight courts and other on-site amenities are good enough to keep athletes and families away from the beach (two blocks away)—at least for a little while.
Spooky Nook Sports
The 10 courts are great at this facility outside Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but the biggest selling point may be the on-site Warehouse Hotel. With lodging, a food court and arcade on the premises, the 700,00-sq.-ft. Spooky Nook is truly an all-in-one destination.
Boo Williams Sportsplex
Brooks Hierstein, sports sales and services manager at Sports Hampton (Virginia) is sure glad to have this venue in his arsenal. The 135,000-sq.-ft. Sportsplex, which has eight hardwood courts, has hosts several AAU boys and girls national championships each year. Other events hosted at the Sportsplex include the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest and the inaugural Virginia Middle School Basketball State Championships.