Sports in Macon
Macon’s central location within Georgia and the southern region in general makes it a no brainer for sporting events. Whether searching for an outdoor or indoor venue, Visit Macon has you covered. The city’s annual hosting of United States Tennis Association events as well as Georgia High School Athletic Association championships are a testament to the positive experience Visit Macon provides for its events. In recent years, the destination has increased its focus on sports and continues to bring in new events year-round.
To unify and lead our community in marketing the Macon-Bibb County area as a superior visitor and meeting destination.
Macon Coliseum – Home of the Macon Mayhem, Macon’s Southern Professional Hockey League team, the Macon Coliseum is the premier entertainment center for central Georgia. The 9,000-capacity arena is well-versed in hosting a variety of major music and sporting events. With the ability to swap the arena’s flooring, Visit Macon helps host multiple Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sporting events throughout the year, including wrestling, cheer and basketball.
Tennis Centers – Macon is home to top-notch tennis facilities that boast a combined total of 46 courts. The John Drew Smith Tennis Center features 24 hard courts and has been recognized as one of the top 25 public tennis facilities in the nation by Tennis magazine and the United States Tennis Association.
Luther Williams Field – Built in 1929, Luther Williams Field is the second oldest baseball stadium in America. The stadium is home of the Macon Bacon, a wooden bat collegiate summer league team in the Coastal Plain League. With the original grandstand still in place, Luther Williams Field is a historic gem. If you’re visiting Macon in the summer months, catching a Macon Bacon game is a must.
GHSA Events – In February, the city hosted GHSA’s Traditional Wrestling that brought close to 1,500 room nights to Macon. Annually, Visit Macon hosts GSHA State Championships for wrestling in February, basketball in March, and cheer in November. Each is held at the Macon Coliseum, the perfect, flexible venue for these large-scale high school athletic events.
USTA JTT Georgia State Championship – “We have 17 USTA sanctioned events in 2022 including the GA State JTT, Southern JTT, and District League Championships,” the Visit Macon team shares. Each July, Macon hosts the USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) Georgia State Championship, followed by the regional championships in August. This year, the USTA JTT Georgia State Championship will be held from July 22-24.
Things to Do
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park – Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is a prehistoric Native American site where the Ocmulgee tribe was originally founded. Here, visitors can step back in time and discover Early Mississippian temple mounds dating back to 900 CE. From the top of the Great Temple Mound, take in a view of downtown Macon from above. The fascinating facts surrounding this national park are endless, so definitely carve out some time to explore during your stay.
Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House – The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House has been named the #1 most visited tourist destination by Trip Advisor, with visitors coming from across the globe to see this site. This was once the home of the Allman Brothers Band and where they played music with family and friends from 1970-1973. Now a museum, The Big House offers a glimpse into life for the Allman Brothers Band and is dotted with memorabilia from this era.
Hay House – Known as the “Palace of the South,” the Hay House is a pre-civil war Italian Renaissance Revival style mansion located in Macon. Built in the 1860s, this 18,000 square foot home was one of the most modern of its time. The house is open for tours Wednesdays through Sundays. Be sure to check out the Hay House’s website for a list of their events, including the 27th annual Spring Stroll of the Gardens!
A Music City with Soul
“Where soul lives” definitely applies to the lively music scene in Macon. Capricorn Records was founded out of Macon in 1969 and was integral in the growth of the southern rock genre. Multiple big names in music were born in Macon, and visitors can explore where they got their start in town. “We have a huge music scene – Little Richard, the Allman Brothers Band, and Jason Aldean all came out of Macon. We have our own incredible recording studio scene here. A lot of people come here to go visit Allman Brothers Band Museum and to go see Little Richard’s house,” Ann Starley, Sports Development Manager at Visit Macon says.
Festival Capital of Georgia
Macon, Georgia is fondly referred to as the “Festival Capital of Georgia” thanks to its range of distinct fairs and festivals throughout the year. For the last two weeks in March, Macon is in full bloom for its Cherry Blossom Festival. The city is home to over 350,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees, topping Washington D.C.! The ten-day festival features concerts, shopping, and more to celebrate the blooming of the trees and the arrival of spring. The city also hosts Macon Beer Fest each October, offering 100+ varieties of craft beer and wine to attendees. If you’re a movie lover, check out the Macon Film Festival from August 19-21, 2022. In September, celebrate the cultures of the Southeastern Native Americans at the 30th annual Ocmulgee Indian Celebration at Ocmulgee Mounds National Park. The celebration features traditional cultural crafts, storytelling, educational programs, live demonstrations, music and dance. If you’re in Macon during the holiday season, the Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza is a must-see. Through the month of December, 500,000 lights are on display and synchronized to music performed by the Macon Pops in historic downtown Macon.
Macon sits just over an hour south of the Atlanta airport. For those driving in for regional events, the city is only a 2–3-hour drive from neighboring states. For your stay, choose from over 50 hotels boasting 5,500 total rooms all within 15 minutes of downtown and the sporting facilities. Macon’s newest hotel, Hotel Forty Five, opened in January 2022 in the heart of downtown. The 94-room historic Marriott boutique hotel offers guests an elevated experience and a home base just steps away from the fun of downtown.
“Macon is very easy to navigate. Our downtown area is flat and great for going out for a walk. You can try just about any cuisine downtown and enjoy shopping in our locally owned stores. We also have four breweries to try some locally made beer with what was once voted the best drinking water in the country,” the team continues.
The Georgia High School Association has moved multiple State Championships to the Macon Area and Visit Macon has been an integral part in this process. Their efforts have enhanced the quality of events we are allowed to have in the Macon area. The Visit Macon leadership has gone above and beyond to make sure all aspects of running a tournament have been very smooth.
The group has worked very well with the leadership at the Macon Centreplex, our host venue. Visit Macon’s lead in coordinating the efforts of these two entities’ management teams has been very useful. Visit Macon organizes Comp Hotel Rooms, catering of all meals and refreshments for all workers. We could not have such a high-quality event without their Leadership.
The GHSA is continually in search of great venues to host our championships and Visit Macon has helped make our transition to their facilities seamless. They continue to do everything in their power to insure we have everything necessary to make our championships an unforgettable experience for all involved.The Georgia High School Association
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