The family-friendly neighboring communities of Alexandria and Pineville offer many multiuse venues, such as Alexandria Riverfront Center. Their central location in the state makes them easily accessible from any direction.
Hotel rooms: 2,700
Major facilities: Rapides Parish Coliseum is a 65,000-square-foot multipurpose venue. Ward 9 Sportsplex has eight baseball/softball fields and eight soccer fields. Pineville Recreation Complex offers six softball fields and one baseball field. Johnny Downs Sports Complex and Crossroads Soccer Association includes eight softball fields and eight soccer fields.
Convention center: Alexandria Riverfront Center offers more than 33,500 square feet of flexible space and hosts sports such as powerlifting, mixed martial arts and boxing.
Contact: Alexandria/Pineville Area CVB, www.alexandriapinevillela.com
Just an hour away from New Orleans and considered part of the Baton Rouge metro area is Ascension Parish. The Parish is home to the cities of Donaldsonville, Gonzales and Sorrento.
Hotels: 25 properties
Major facilities: Butch Gore Memorial Park houses four lighted competition softball fields and two practice fields on its 20-acre complex. Darrow Community Center and Park offers a baseball field that can host adult softball as well as youth baseball. Lamar Dixon Expo Center is a multiuse facility that can host a wide range of events in its multiple buildings.
Contact: Ascension Parish Tourist
Louisiana’s capital city boasts a central location, just an hour away from both New Orleans and Lafayette. The city features more than 300 years of history, incredible restaurants and plenty of fun and attractions along with its many state-of-the-art venues.
Hotel rooms: 13,000
Major facilities: Burbank Soccer Complex boasts 21 soccer fields to accommodate youth, high school and adult soccer. LSU Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field is a baseball stadium. Bennett’s Water Ski and Wakeboard School has three lakes for water skiing and wakeboarding.
Convention center: Raising Cane’s River Center sits in downtown Baton Rouge on the banks of the Mississippi River. The complex includes more than 200,000 square feet of new and renovated space. The 70,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall can be combined with the Arena to create more than 100,000 square feet of space.
Contact: Visit Baton Rouge, www.
visitbatonrouge.com; Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, www.brasf.com
The Cajun Coast — St. Mary Parish — is home to natural beauty that’s just 90 minutes from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. There are many bodies of water here, so it’s a great opportunity for fishing and water sports.
Hotel rooms: 1,400
Major facilities: Kemper Williams Park houses baseball fields and tennis courts. Bayou Vista Community Center includes baseball/softball fields.
Contact: Cajun Coast CVB,
Houma is situated just 55 miles outside of New Orleans and is home to more than 2,500 square miles of swamps and wetlands.
Hotel rooms: 1,500+
Major facility: The Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center offers 100,000 total square feet of space with 37,000 square feet of flat floor space. The center hosts sports such as indoor football, extreme motocross, boxing and mixed martial arts, and high school and college basketball tournaments. The facility also offers a customizable sport court that can be used for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, cheerleading and wrestling.
Contact: Houma Area CVB,
Jefferson Parish is 60 miles long from the beaches of Grand Isle to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Boasting diverse sports venues both indoors and out, the region hosts sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and soccer.
Hotel rooms: 8,000
Major facilities: Pontchartrain Center is a multipurpose venue featuring 75,000 square feet of space and seating for 3,000. The multipurpose Alario Center includes 75,000 square feet of space and seating for 2,200.
Contact: Jefferson CVB, www.visit
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In the heart of southern Louisiana is Lafayette. The city has the facilities needed to host sports events and tournaments but what makes it extra appealing is the authentic Cajun food, music and culture.
Hotel rooms: 7,000
Major facilities: The 13,000-seat Cajundome offers 40,000 square feet of floor space in the arena. Carencro Sports Complex is a multipurpose indoor facility with 20,000 square feet of turfed area. St. Julien Park and Sports Complex includes 11 baseball/softball fields, eight tennis courts, two basketball courts and six soccer fields. Youngsville Sports Complex features five baseball fields, four softball fields, 10 tennis courts and two basketball courts.
Convention center: Cajundome Convention Center consists of more than 72,000 square feet of space on two levels. The venue has played host to cheer and dance competitions.
Contact: Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, www.lafayettetravel.com
Lake Charles is in southwest Louisiana and is known as the Youth Sports Capital of Louisiana. The area can accommodate large groups and boasts hotels within close proximity to family-friendly sports facilities.
Hotel rooms: 6,900+
Major facilities: The Burton Complex includes several buildings, including the Coliseum (which can seat up to 9,000 and boasts more than 24,000 square feet of floor space), Burton Event Barn (which provides 160,000 square feet of floor space) and Burton Arena (a 50,000-square-foot covered arena with seating for 1,000). McMurry Park has 13 baseball fields and an eight-court tennis complex. The Sulphur Parks & Recreation (SPAR) Recreation and Aquatic Center has an Olympic-size pool, as well as three other pools.
Contact: Lake Charles/Southwest LA CVB, www.visitlakecharles.org
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St. Tammany Parish is just 45 minutes north of New Orleans and is known as Louisiana’s Northshore. Situated at the convergence of three major interstates, it’s an easily accessible destination with a diverse selection of venues, restaurants and hotels.
Hotel rooms: 3,000+
Major facilities: The 46,000-square-foot Castine Center is an indoor multipurpose facility. Pelican Park is a 230-acre recreational complex featuring 33 fields, three gyms and an 18-hole disc golf course.
Convention center: Northshore Harbor Center has 45,000 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 2,500 people.
Contact: Louisiana’s Northshore/
St. Tammany Parish, www.louisiana
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Pecanland Mall is the largest shopping mall in north Louisiana.
Hotels: 30+ properties
Major facilities: Forsythe Park encompasses more than 52 acres and includes tennis courts, softball fields, soccer fields and volleyball courts. Ike Hamilton Expo Center has seven acres of facility space. Biedenharn Sports Complex has 15 baseball/softball/soccer fields. The Lake C. Oxford Natatorium houses a 50-meter by 25-yard competition pool and a 25-yard by 12.5-yard diving well.
Contact: Monroe/West Monroe CVB, www.monroe-westmonroe.org
Natchitoches is a small city in Natchitoches Parish in central Louisiana. The city hosts row teams from universities from across the country for spring practice and training on Cane River Lake.
Hotel rooms: 940
Major facility: East Natchitoches Recreation Complex includes nine baseball/softball fields, as well as a full-size soccer field and six smaller youth fields. The MLK Recreational Center has a full-size gym that’s used for sports such as basketball and volleyball.
The city is currently in the process of building a new complex that will include five turf baseball/softball fields, four soccer fields and stocked fishing ponds.
Contact: Natchitoches CVB,
There’s no reason not to visit New Orleans. The walkable city offers state-of-the-art facilities and hotels in its downtown, which is just a few short blocks from the famous French Quarter.
Hotel room: 39,000+
Major facilities: Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a multipurpose venue with a seating capacity of 73,000+ and a 162,434-square-foot main arena. Smoothie King Center is a 17,700-seat multipurpose venue. The Pontchartrain Center is a flexible venue with 70,000 square feet of space and fixed arena seating of more than 3,500.
Convention center: The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center offers more than 1 million square feet of contiguous space.
Contact: New Orleans CVB,
Shreveport-Bossier is located along Interstate 20 and borders Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. The beautiful Red River goes right through the heart of Shreveport and Bossier.
Hotel rooms: 10,000+
Major facilities: Independence Stadium seats 52,000 for football. CenturyLink Center is an indoor multipurpose venue that seats 14,500 for basketball, hockey, tennis and other events. Hirsch Memorial Coliseum is an 8,500-seat, 20,000-square-foot venue adjacent to the Louisiana State Fairgrounds. Bossier Civic Center has 24,000 square feet of space. Cargill Sports Complex features 10 softball fields and 13 soccer fields. Bossier Tennis Center at North Bossier Park has 16 courts.
Convention center: The Shreveport Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown and provides 350,000 square feet of space. The facility is attached to the Hilton Hotel and is a great location for sports such as cheerleading, volleyball and karate, as well as fishing expos.
Contact: Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, www.shreveportbossier
At the intersection of two interstates is Tangipahoa Parish. The region is home to multiple cities, including Kentwood and Hammond. The cities offer numerous fields, gyms, arenas and multipurpose buildings, many of which are within a 20-mile radius.
Hotel rooms: 1,426
Major facilities: Chappapeela Park has 12 Celebration Bermuda turf fields, 21 soccer fields, two regulation football fields and a gym with two basketball/volleyball courts. North Oak Park features four softball fields. Pennington Student Activity Center is 87,000 square feet and houses a four-court gym.
Contact: Tangipahoa Parish CVB, www.tangitourism.com