Whether the group prefers a spectator option, like cheering on a local Minor League Baseball team, or getting in the game with a fun round of golf or a windsurfing excursion, sporting events add excitement to meetings in South Texas.
Whataburger Field, home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, a Minor League Baseball team that is a Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, is a great place for a group outing.
“Groups of all sizes are welcome to enjoy a night of baseball from one of the private indoor/outdoor suites or VIP areas,” said Erica Lozano, sales director at the Corpus Christi CVB. “You can even make arrangements to throw the first pitch.”
During basketball season at the American Bank Center, which is located on the Corpus Christi Bay and seats up to 10,000 people, groups can check out Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders men’s and women’s games.
According to Lozano, private suites and VIP sections are available for groups and special events.
In Brownsville, groups can gear up for a scenic kayaking outing in the heart of town at Dean Porter Park, which is located on the Resaca waterway, or Boca Chica State Park beach, a more remote location.
The city also has 64 miles of biking trails and lanes, as well as Brownsville Sports Park, where groups can arrange games of volleyball or softball and book a party pavilion for use before or after play.
Harlingen is home to an 18-court tennis facility, three 18-hole golf courses and many acres of public parks where groups can arrange games and picnics.
Arroyo Park is a great example. Here, groups will find baseball and soccer fields, scenic nature trails, a volleyball area and a covered picnic shelter. There is also Dixieland Park, which has a nine-hole disc golf course, a pavilion and a barbecue pit.
South Padre Island
About an hour from Harlingen, South Padre Island boasts the widest and cleanest beaches in Texas.
Horseback riding along the beach is a great option, and watersports, including parasailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding, take meetings here to the next level.
More traditional groups will appreciate a golf tournament at South Padre Island Golf Club, a scenic course where they can plan on a meal at the on-site Oak Tree Grill before or after play.
According to Blasita J. Lopez, director of the Laredo CVB, groups can book a tournament at The Max, an 18-hole municipal golf course rated the No. 1 public course in Texas by the Dallas Morning News.
“In the four years since its opening, it has garnered a number of other accolades,” Lopez said. “This is a great spot for group and meeting events.”
The Max features a two-story clubhouse that offers views of the Rio Grande River and accommodates events of up to 200 attendees, as well as a full-service catering menu and bar.
“The putting greens, short course-within-a-course architecture designed by Robert Trent Jones II, and able golf pro staff provide for teambuilding opportunities that can be contained within an afternoon,” Lopez said.
Groups meeting in Laredo can also head out to cheer on the Laredo Lemurs baseball team at Uni-Trade Stadium or the Laredo Swarm basketball team at Laredo Energy Arena.
“Both venues offer full-service bars, catering and concession menus,” Lopez said. “Each sporting event is set to a different backdrop.”
The 6,000-seat Uni-Trade Stadium, Laredo’s newest championship sports venue with its 2012 debut, has one large party suite, group ticket rates and picnic areas, while the 10,000-seat multipurpose Laredo Energy Arena offers luxury suites, group rates and flexible group seating.
When conference dates match up with games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers basketball team or the Rio Grande Valley Toros soccer team, the McAllen CVB will work with planners to offer group rates, according to Robert Lopez, director of convention and sports tourism sales for the McAllen CVB.
“Our tropical, year-round climate is ideal for conferences with golf outings,” he added. “And what makes it even better is the city-owned Palm View Golf Course is less than a mile from the convention center district.”