Field Report: Foley Sports Tourism Complex

Field Report: Foley Sports Tourism Complex

By Matt Swenson, March 13, 2017

Foley Sports Tourism Complex’s roller coaster ride toward completion is heading for a thrilling conclusion. A huge construction site—520 acres, all told—is being transformed into an all-inclusive resort for athletes and their families. Sixteen sterling fields are already in heavy use.

On a recent visit to the Alabama coastal town, one of the 21 planned rides was already standing. The skeleton of Foley Events Center, a 90,000-sq.-ft. indoor facility, was in place, and a 150-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott was taking shape. Phase one of OWA, as the entertainment and hospitality district is known, is scheduled to open this summer. Rolling Thunder, a massive roller coaster, will run through the middle of OWA.

Once the rides and event center are in place, Foley will have more than a sporting chance at drawing visitors from Pensacola, Florida, and/or Mobile, Alabama, both 45 minutes away. Even closer is Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, which, combined with Foley, sees 6 million visitors per year.

“This is definitely a regional destination,” says Kristin Hellmich, OWA’s director of marketing and public relations.

Despite the tragic loss of life and immense damage to areas in Texas and Florida, the hurricane season has brought out the best in people.

This week in Team USA (September 25-October 1) features three slow pitch softball tournament events being played in Oklahoma City.

The upcoming World Rowing Championships are expected to have a $25 million impact on the Sarasota region.

Esports is revolutionizing the sports industry and college athletic departments through sold-out events held across the country.

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