Game on at Foley Sports Complex

Foley Sports Complex

Don Staley, executive director of sports at Foley Sports Tourism Complex in Alabama, knows his impressive new facility has one major advantage over comparable multisport venues. Namely, it  is minutes from the beach—making the highly anticipated facility that sits on 420 acres and opened in May a desirable location for families pairing vacations with youth sporting events.

The evidence is visible on the complex’s calendar. It is completely booked each weekend through the end of the year and for most of next year, mixing in state and regional tournaments with national events like the Sun Belt Conference’s Women’s Soccer Championship in November. 

That’s only the beginning for the 16-field facility with seating for 1,000 people. A 90,000-sq.-ft. indoor events center is scheduled to open by Memorial Day 2017, and there are plans to install an entertainment district similar to what LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson, Georgia, is working on.

The indoor venue will allow Foley to host basketball, gymnastics and volleyball in addition to the soccer, lacrosse, football and disc golf teams already taking advantage of the outdoor space.

A couple of smaller events in May—“dress rehearsals” as Staley puts them—went off without a hitch. Staley, a former soccer coach at The University of Alabama who was executive director of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission before leading the Foley project, was impressed with how the facilities handled weather conditions. “The fields drained like my field at The University of Alabama, and I’d put that against any in the country,” he says.  

Photo Credit: Michelle Stancil