State-of-the-art facilities make Tempe, Arizona a sports destination for pros and weekend warriors alike.
After becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time with his 28 total (23 Gold) medals, Michael Phelps did what a lot of people choose to do upon retirement, move to Arizona. While Arizona’s climate, standard of living, and world-renowned golf courses were an obvious selling point for the gifted swimmer on his next home post-Olympic career, it was his relationship with new Arizona State University’s Swim Coach Bob Bowman (Michael’s own coach) and the wonderful facilities at ASU’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center that truly intrigued Michael Phelps enough to give coaching a try and move with his family to Arizona.
With the addition of Phelps and Bowman, interest in ASU Swimming started to skyrocket. Top high school swimming talent began committing to ASU. As a result of the attention being given to ASU Swimming, the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center has become a destination facility for swimming and diving events on the amateur and professional level.
Mona Plummer Aquatic Center was already highly regarded as one of the country’s finest outdoor swimming and diving facilities. With a seating capacity of 2,000 and an Olympic size, 50 meter by 25 yard, seven foot deep competition pool with a movable bulkhead, the facility has also been targeted by triathlon and amateur swimming organizations for their competitions.
ASU’s newly renovated Sun Devil Fitness Complex boasts state of the art facilities and has also emerged as an outstanding place to host both amateur and professional competitions when not in use by Arizona State Athletics. The facility itself consists of 135,000 square feet of indoor activity space, as well as various outdoor fields and court spaces. Along with the newly renovated Sun Devil Stadium, these facilities are the reason many sport competitions and leagues are seriously looking at bringing events to Tempe.
But it is not just ASU facilities that are attracting sport tournament organizers. Tempe has other sport facilities such as Kiwanis Park and Recreation Center. This 125 acre park features four lighted baseball/softball fields, three lighted basketball courts, four soccer fields, five lighted volleyball courts, and 15 lighted tennis courts, making this sprawling facility a mecca for youth sport tournaments from across the region.
Without a doubt however, the main sporting attraction for Tempe and what makes it so unique and special is Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake. Two of the largest sporting events held here annually are a full and half Ironman, which bring thousands of competitors and their families to Tempe. The park itself consists of not just 2 mile-long lake but also 25 acres of park space including a marina with 5 boat launches, an amphitheater for concerts and trade shows and paved and gravel paths which provide more than 5 miles for running, walking or biking. This incredible lake is connected to Downtown Tempe. Its location in the middle of the metropolitan Tempe/Phoenix area is transforming the way sports events are carried out and adds an extra layer of culture to an already bustling, energetic city.
Tempe has shown that it can be a home for not only collegiate sports, but that it also has a place for amateur and professional athletes themselves with the incredible facilities Tempe is able to provide.
For more information about hosting your next sporting event in Tempe, please contact James Tevault at the Tempe Tourism Office: [email protected]| 480-894-8158.