Sports in Norfolk, Virginia
From 1970 to 1976, Norfolk served as home court (along with Hampton, Richmond and Roanoke) for the Virginia Squires regional professional basketball franchise of the now-defunct American Basketball Association (ABA). From 1970 to 1971, the Squires played their Norfolk home games at the Old Dominion University Fieldhouse. In November 1971, the Virginia Squires played their Norfolk home games at the new Norfolk Scope arena, until the team and the ABA league folded in May 1976.
In 1971, Norfolk built the region's first entertainment and sports complex, featuring Chrysler Hall and the 13,800-seat Norfolk Scope indoor arena, located in the northern section of downtown. Norfolk Scope has served as a venue for major events. On January 30, 1974, the city hosted its first professional basketball all-star game, courtesy of the American Basketball Association, at the Norfolk Scope. 10,624 spectators were in attendance, as Artis Gilmore won Most Valuable Player of the 1974 ABA All-Star Game. On March 29, 1982, Norfolk hosted the first NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship (also known as the Women's Final Four). The Norfolk Scope served as the chief venue for the event. 9,531 spectators were in attendance at this inaugural event. On April 3, 1983, Norfolk hosted the second NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship at the Norfolk Scope. 7,837 spectators were in attendance.
In April 1993, the 12,067-seat Harbor Park baseball stadium opened, hosting the Norfolk Tides Triple-A minor league baseball team. Designed by HOK Sport, it was instantly acclaimed as one of the best minor league ballparks in America, and received the honor of best minor league park in 1995 by Baseball America. Also, despite worries that a new downtown park would not draw fans from the region's other cities, Harbor Park continually posts one of the best attendance records in minor league baseball, and certainly far higher than at their previous stadium, Met Park.
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