In the “Sports Capital of Texas,” all sights, sounds, and smells revolve around the excitement, thrill, and competition of the game. The ambience in town rings with referee whistles and rallying fans, and dons a perfume of chargrilled hot dogs and fresh-cut grass.
With a tier-one lineup of sports venues and entertainment including Triple-A baseball at Dell Diamond, America’s largest indoor water park, nature and green space, and walking and biking trails, Round Rock, Texas, tops the list of world-class destinations for youth sports teams in the country. Fans and athletes travel from all around the nation to the sports capital to cheer on and compete among youth sports teams.
“For nearly 52 weekends out of the year, Round Rock serves as a sports epicenter for the athletic community,” says Nancy Yawn, director at the Round Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Because of our top-of-the-line sports facilities, we’re not only hosting collegiate, high school, and club-level sports at our facilities, but we’re also providing players, their families, and fans with an entertainment destination to enjoy before, after, and during their games.”
Round Rock prides itself on hosting some of the largest youth and recreational sports tournaments for athletes around the globe, thanks to its robust and growing infrastructure. The Round Rock Sports Center and Round Rock Multipurpose Complex showcase state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor fields, courts, and stadiums for year-round tournaments.
In addition to sports venues, Round Rock has a long list of accommodations and amenities for youth sports teams, families, and fans. Over 35 hotels, multiple shopping districts, endless entertainment options, and an abundance of restaurants are located all around the city.
Round Rock Sports Center
Since its opening in January 2014, the Round Rock Sports Center has served as the premier host site for nearly every sport imaginable. From basketball, volleyball, and table tennis to wrestling, soccer, and fencing, the facility is a sports mecca for athletes, celebrating and supporting a diverse array of youth sports. The $14.9 million facility boasts over 82,000 square feet of indoor space and over 47,000 square feet of flex space, which can support a variety of configurations, such as three NCAA basketball courts, six high school basketball courts, or a dozen high school volleyball courts.
The Round Rock Sports Center can host 1,400 spectators, and it features full concessions, numerous locker rooms, training rooms, and LED scoreboards. An open-air plaza and outdoor pavilion also serve as a hosting space for teams and fans during games. The outdoor covered pavilion is equipped with multisport turf surface, a playground, concessions, and restrooms.
Round Rock Multipurpose Complex
Located in Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park, the city park system’s crown jewel, the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex has become a well-recognized destination for youth and amateur sports leagues around the country since the complex was founded in 2017.
The 60-acre outdoor complex provides flexible and versatile field configurations for all types of team sports from soccer, football, and ultimate frisbee to rugby, lacrosse, and more. Four natural grass multipurpose fields, four synthetic turf multipurpose fields, a natural grass championship field, and a synthetic turf championship field can accommodate groups and teams of all sizes.
After a day on the field in the hot Texas sun, youth sports teams can find a full roster of post-game activities to cool off and relax.
America’s largest water park, located right in the heart of Round Rock, is a great place to start. The Kalahari Resorts water park, which opened in November 2020, provides 223,000 square feet of wet and wild fun. Visitors may need more than one afternoon at this destination. Inside the water park, groups can also enjoy Tom Foolerys Adventure Park, an 80,000-square-foot indoor theme park featuring arcade games, amusement rides, a climbing wall, rope course, zip lining, laser tag, and much more.
Home Run Dugout gives everyone the chance to swing for the fences. The attraction is positioned near center field at Dell Diamond, the home stadium of the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A minor league baseball team, the Round Rock Express. Baseball and softball fans can practice their skills at a virtual home plate. The sports venue features state-of-the-art batting bays that throw out the perfect soft-toss pitch, setting players up for the perfect hit. With a full bar and grill overlooking Dell Diamond, fans are set up for home run entertainment all night at the ballpark.
At Round Rock Premium Outlets, teams, families, and travel planners can explore more than 125 name-brand outlet stores in the fresh air. The open-air shopping complex includes apparel and fashion-forward shops, designer shoe outlets, and accessory-filled storefronts. Plenty more shopping can be found downtown. The laid-back historical district is walkable, parkable, and full of stores and restaurants for all tastes and interests. Families and teams will especially love Prete Plaza on Main Street, a 14,000-square-foot plaza featuring a music and performing arts stage, an interactive water fountain, ambient lighting, and ample grass seating.
“With a short 20- to 30-minute drive from the Austin airport, and the fact that we’re centrally located in Texas, our central location gives teams and families easy access to our facilities,” Yawn adds. “We’re within three to four hours from the largest cities in the state, and that’s another reason why our sports amenities are very appealing to tournament planners, team managers, and families traveling to Round Rock.”
For more information, go to the Round Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Main image: Soccer competition; credit: Rock Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
Article by Erica Zazo