Virginia Beach Sportsplex
|Location||2044 Landstown Centre Way
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456
|Owner||City of Virginia Beach|
|Operator||Hometown Sports Management|
|Capacity||6,000 (expandable to 17,000)|
|Surface||PowerBlade HP 2.0SR by Sportexe|
|Construction cost||$6.8 million US$|
|Virginia Beach Mariners (USL 1) (1994–2006)
Hampton Roads Piranhas (W-League) (2000–2002, 2006)
Virginia Beach Piranhas (USLPDL) (2006–2013)
Virginia Destroyers (UFL) (2011–2012)
Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) (2014–present)
The Virginia Beach Sportsplex is a sports complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The name is most commonly attached to the main stadium within the complex, which opened in 1999. It has a permanent seating capacity of 6,000, on two decks of seating, though it can be expanded upwards to 17,000 for American football games. It was the first soccer-specific stadium built from the ground up in the United States. The Sportsplex is located across the street from the Princess Anne Athletic Complex and near the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater.
The main stadium was the home field of the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a women's team in the W-League, which became the de facto top women's league in the country after the demise of the Women's United Soccer Association. It was originally their home from 1999 to 2002. In 2003 the Piranhas moved their home games to a smaller stadium on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan College near the city's border with Norfolk. It was also the home field for the Virginia Beach Mariners (USL-I) and the Virginia Beach Submariners (PDL). In 2007, the franchise was terminated, and as a result the Piranhas acquired the Submariners and renamed them as the Piranhas, a reflection of their women's team. Both teams played at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex for the 2010 season of the W-League and the Premier Development League. The stadium is now the home office for the Virginia Rush Organization as well as the home venue for its U16 and U18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. It is also home to the Norfolk Blues rugby team and Southern Virginian Trojans semi-pro football team. The stadium also hosted the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League, which played two abbreviated seasons at the Sportsplex and for whom the stadium's capacity was doubled.
In 2009 the city of Virginia Beach turned over the Sportsplex to a private firm, Hometown Sports Management, who changed the soccer-only Bermuda grass field over to a more durable multi-sport friendly turf and paved the parking lot.
The Sportsplex Stadium is a 3-level steel and concrete structure. The Service Level contains ticketing functions, administration area, team and officials’ dressing rooms and miscellaneous support spaces. The Concourse Level consists of a broad spectator walkway leading to the lower seating deck, plus concessions and restroom areas. The Club Level leads to the upper seating deck as well as six (6) luxury suites and Press boxes.
The Playing Field consists of a state-of-the-art turf surface. Made with Sportexe’s advanced MonoTech fiber, PowerBlade HP, it combines the softness and lush appearance of natural grass with the engineered performance of modern synthetic turf. PowerBlade HP 2.0SR is designed specifically for faster gameplay and has passed the testing requirements to qualify as a FIFA 1-Star surface. The playing surface contains a specially engineered sand/rubber ratio, which makes for a denser surface, enhancing speed and ensures a consistent ball roll. The playing surface is sized to accommodate international soccer matches (75 yards x 120 yards). This is more than adequate for the full range of typical field events, including football, field hockey, rugby, and lacrosse.
Field Lighting has been engineered to provide 100 footcandles of illumination throughout the playing surface. This is a very high level that will meet the most demanding needs of a television broadcast.
On-Site Parking area is easily accessible through Landstown Road. A broad, well landscaped pedestrian walkway bisects the main parking areas, which contain a total of 2,122 spaces. Special areas near the stadium are reserved for handicapped parking and space is also provided for buses, teams, and service personnel.
The Concession Level provides a broad pedestrian walkway with four concession stands offering fans a wide selection of savory foods and treats. Fans seated in the Main Concourse are served by concessionaires. Concessions on the Club Level provide similar fare, plus special service menus for the Luxury Suites. Team meals are also available at a discount when ordered in advance.
Smoke Pit Picnics family and corporate gatherings can be catered by the Sportsplex catering service and are welcomed at the southeast end zone with a large, landscaped, bermed picnic space with ample paved area for parties and concessions.
Sportsplex 5K Course
The Virginia Beach Sportsplex is a nationwide known 5K course. It hosts well known races such as Color me Rad, Dirty Girl Mud Run, Military Challenge, and Inflatable 5K. Starting off on the Sportsplex Turf going out behind to the City Property Limit and Virginia Beach National Golf Course, Around the Edge of the Sportsplex Athletic Fields, and around the Regional Training Center Fields, Finishing through the gates at the Smoke Pit.
Sportsplex Athletic Fields
The athletic fields are 3 acres of natural grass and plays host to many events such as youth soccer, lacrosse, and 5K's. Many of the events at the Sportsplex depend on high quality grass for week in and week out league play.The expectation for excellent sports fields is why field maintenance is conducted regularly at the Sportsplex to ensure that high quality grass is enjoyed for each and every event at the Sportsplex Athletic Fields.
Regional Training Center
The Sportsplex also contains the Regional Training Center, and is the regional training site for the U.S. Women's National Team field hockey team which has two turf fields and its own office building.The training center is one of America’s most well-known field hockey complexes. It also features lighting, locker rooms, parking, an equipment room and a concession stand. Turf time is available for rent for field hockey events, camps, clinics and tournaments.
On November 10, 2010, the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League announced their home games would be played at the Sportsplex starting in Fall 2011. The UFL added temporary bleacher seating (recycled from the 2011 U.S. Open golf tournament) to expand the stadium to between 14,000 and 17,000 seats depending on demand. The Destroyers first game drew almost 13,000 fans to see a 34–17 Virginia win.
The Destroyers set an attendance record for the Sportsplex when 14,172 fans overflowed the stadium for the 2011 UFL Championship Game, which they won over the Las Vegas Locomotives, requiring the stadium to accommodate for standing room.
Along with the rest of the league, the Destroyers' attendance dropped precipitously during the 2012 season, prompting the league to again cut short its season; the Destroyers' business license expired March 1, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Virginia Beach Sportsplex.|
- Sportsplex Stadium info
- Streit, John (August 13, 2009). "New Tenants, Turf Headed For Sportsplex". Rourk Public Relations, via The Virginian Pilot. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- "Virginia Beach Sportsplex". hamptonroadssports.org. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "USA Field Hockey National Training Center at Virginia Beach". U.S. Field Hockey. 2005. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- "Virginia Destroyers' New Coach and President is Joe Moglia". Virginian Pilot. 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Fairbank, Dave (June 11, 2011). UFL's Destroyers enter home stretch of preparation with training camp a month away. Daily Press. Retrieved June 11, 2011.