the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National
Soccer teams, including the latter’s qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup. Also staging
national and regional college championships, the 150-acre park is encircled by an
event-capable cross-country course.
Cary is also home to the National
Training Complex for USA Baseball (
amateur baseball’s national governing body,
headquartered in Durham), where groups
can catch the action at the MLB-regulation
Offering challenging NCAA champion-ship-level golf, the public Lonnie Poole
Golf Course and its clubhouse can be rented for corporate and charity events.
Featuring 55-foot indoor rock-climbing
walls, Triangle Rock Club offers customized corporate teambuilding programs.
Cary Tennis Park, North Carolina’s largest
tennis facility, hosts national and regional
events. Groups can also organize functions,
tournaments and teambuilders at the
30,000-square-foot Triangle Table Tennis
Raleigh’s two state parks and 180-plus
miles of greenways, hiking and biking
trails offer delegates plentiful outdoor
recreation opportunities, including local
favorite disc golf.
Time, like a fastball, can zip right by. But
major happenings can have lasting impact,
such as the 1988 Kevin Costner-Susan
Sarandon hit Bull Durham. Credited as a
catalyst for baseball by raising awareness of
now familiar staples such as promo nights,
unique team names and branded merchandise, the movie’s 30th anniversary was
celebrated over two June 2018 weekends.
The festivities, which included a screening
of the movie and Durham Bulls baseball
with the team in throwback uniforms, was
held at Durham Athletic Park, where the
movie was filmed.
As Ashleigh Bachert, executive direc-
tor of the Durham Sports Commission,
explained, this lively city is always switched
on for sports.
“Proud home of Duke University, North
Carolina Central University (NCCU) and
the Durham Bulls, Durham is truly a desti-
nation for champions,” Bachert said. “From
basketball and baseball to eSports and
curling, ‘The Bull City’ offers opportunities
to compete and participate in many differ-
ent sports. Our affordable, available and
accessible venues attract event owners of
all types. For groups, Durham is a premier
destination to stay and play, with plenty
of hotel, food and entertainment options
within a compact radius.”
Opened in 1926 as El Toro Park, Durham
Athletic Park was the Durham Bulls’ home
until 1995, when the team moved to nearby
Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Close to the
Central Park dining and entertainment dis-
trict, the event-capable historic site today is
home of NCCU baseball.
Featuring Durham Bulls baseball from
April through September, the new Bulls
Athletic Park is ideal for group outings.
Rentals include the popular picnic and
party decks; luxury suites for 20 to 30
guests; and PNC Triangle Club.
Duke University venues include the
Duke Basketball Museum and Sports Hall
of Fame, with reception space for 270.
Overlooking 40,000-plus seat Wallace Wade
Stadium, Blue Devil Tower flexibly hosts
receptions and banquets for up to 600
guests. Groups can combine conferencing
with championship golf at the celebrated
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club.
At the 14,500-square-foot Triangle
Curling Club, instructor-led groups can
experience the unique ice sport of curling
from September to April.
Winner of 43 NCAA Division I national
championships in seven different team
sports, plus 52 individual national championships, the University of North Carolina
Tar Heels dominate Chapel Hill’s sports
“The sports market represents about 13
percent of our total group business, mostly
related to University of North Carolina var-
sity and club teams,” said Marlene Barbera,
sales director for the Chapel Hill/Orange
County Visitors Bureau.
With 27 varsity men’s and women’s
teams, the school’s year-round sports calendar is loaded with game-day options for
groups. Major venues include 62,562-ca-
pacity Kenan Memorial Stadium (football)
and 5,000-capacity Boshamer Stadium
(baseball). Soccer is played at Fetzer Field;
the women’s team reigns supreme with
22 national championships. Construction
is underway on a brand-new soccer and
lacrosse field at the Fetzer site.
Another shrine is the 21,750-seat
Dean E. Smith Center, or “Dean Dome,”
home of Carolina hoops and the nation’s
fourth-largest college basketball arena. The
men’s team has won six national championships, the first in 1957 and the latest in
2017. The adjacent free-admission Carolina
Basketball Museum, fully renovated in
2017, is filled with artifacts covering the
storied program’s history.
Groups can take the Challenge Course at
the UNC Outdoor Education Center or hit
the links at the event-capable UNC Finley
Forest Golf course.
Unique options include stock car and
other races at Orange County Speedway,
billed as “America’s Fastest 3/8-Mile
Track.” Outdoor enthusiasts can rent
kayaks, canoes and flat-bottomed boats for
seasonal outings on Cane Creek Reservoir
or University Lake, while hikers have trails
in Eno River State Park and Occoneechee
Mountain State Natural Area.
WASHINGTON DUKE INN & GOLF CLUB, DURHAM
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ORANGE COUNTY SPEEDWAY
CAROLINA BASKETBALL MUSEUM, CHAPEL HILL