WHEELING — The Highlands Sports Complex now isn’t just a place for volleyball and basketball. It is hosting everything from robotics to roller derby to reptile expos.
What is next? A food-tasting event, and some pickleball tournaments, according to general manager Harvey Greenidge.
Greenidge updated members of the Ohio County Development Authority this week on bookings for the Sports Complex for the current season, which began in June and extends until June 2024. He noted the number of bookings is up for the coming year, as 60 events were booked to happen there this season.
There are 17 basketball tournaments scheduled, representing an increase of one more over the 16 that occurred between June 2022 and June 2023. The Sports Complex hosted nine softball events last year, and 12 were booked to happen there by next summer, according to Greenidge.
The number of volleyball tournaments are continuing to grow, he continued. There were 10 events scheduled for the facility between June 2023 and June 2024 — two more than the previous year.
“Volleyball events are our bread and butter. It’s what we want to have,” Greenidge said.
This is because the returns on volleyball are greater after expenses, he explained.
There are six football events booked this season for the Sports Complex, up from three during the June 2022-June 2023 season. The number of wrestling events holds at six with the possibility of a seventh event, Greenidge added.
Greenidge indicated the Sports Complex is next going to concentrate on increasing the number of its non-sports bookings.
Six expos — including the upcoming Christmas at The Highlands craft show at the end of October — were booked to happen starting this summer up until next June. There were two expos at the Sports Complex last year.
And roller derby at the facility is really taking off, Greenidge continued. There was one roller derby event during the June 2022 to June 2023 season, and four were booked to happen there this year. There is roller derby practice twice a week in the facility, he said.
A VEX Robotics regional tournament for middle school and high school students — due to the tremendous success in the world tournament by Ohio County Schools competitors — is set to take place at the Sports Complex in late January and early February.
Greenidge reports there were also gymnastics, lacrosse, pickleball, and archery events booked for the Sports Complex this year.
In addition, the Highlands Sports Complex is looking to organize and schedule its own events. An HSC Best of the Tri-State food-tasting event is slated for January, and will bring in top restaurants and food trucks as competitors, he said.
Two pickleball tournaments and a basketball classic also are being organized by the Sports Complex, according to Greenidge.
In addition to the robotics tournament, new events booked for the current season included the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce College Fair, The Health Plan Women’s Expo, the Mahoning Volleyball Tournament, The Wheeling Park High School Duals wrestling tournament, the Ohio Valley Roller Derby, and the Ohio Valley Reptiles.