8 Reasons to Choose Ocala/Marion County for Your Next Sporting Event

Ocala / Marion County is a fantastic destination for both youth and adult sporting events. Here are 8 reasons why this is so.

Sporting event locations should be easy to access, boast plenty of amenities, and have decent weather so games can go on as planned. Ocala, located in central Florida’s Marion County, has all of this and more, making it an ideal destination for youth and adult sporting events.

Here are eight reasons to choose Ocala/Marion County for your next sporting event.

baseball diamond in Ocala Marion

1. Top-notch Facilities

  • Our destination features a full array of spacious, well-maintained field complexes for baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and softball.
  • We offer nearly a dozen championship-level golf courses with slope ratings unlike anywhere else in Florida.
  • If you’re looking for the perfect place to hold an equestrian event, look no further. Here in The Horse Capital of the World®, you’ll find a wide variety of scalable, climate-controlled facilities suitable for nearly all types of competition. Click here for more information on our thriving equestrian scene.

2. Team-friendly Accommodations

Ocala/Marion County offers more than 4,000 rooms in brand-name hotels that are ready and eager to welcome groups of any size. You can also find unique alternatives:

  • Cabin rentals next to spring-fed rivers
  • B&Bs on horse farms
  • RV resorts.

You’re sure to find the right accommodations for your group, located just a short drive from your tournament facility.

With dozens of hotels in the area, teams are able to block rooms for everyone so players can socialize around the pool or common areas during off time. From large conference centers to small mom-and-pop motels, lodging is available in all price ranges and to suit all tastes, so players can get a good night’s sleep before the big game. For more information on accommodations in Ocala/Marion County, click here.

Accommodations in Ocala/Marion County

3. Easy Access

Ocala/Marion County is so centrally located in the Sunshine State, you’ll have no problem getting here. Accessibility by car or bus is simple, with major Florida interstate I-75 leading directly to our destination. If you’re flying, we’re an easy drive from airports in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.

Location of Ocala/Marion County

4. Optimal Value

When you need to make the most of your budget, Ocala/Marion County is the place to do it. From facility rentals and room rates to meal costs and everything in between, you’ll get the most for your money in our area. Financial incentives are available. Our sports sales team will be glad to give you all the details!

Family in Ocala/Marion County

5. Fun On & Off the Field

Planning to stay a day after the tournament, or arrive early? The destination features great sight-seeing opportunities:

Outdoor Adventures

The Ocala National Forest and nearby state parks offer an abundance of springs, trails, and campgrounds for swimming, picnicking, and other outdoor adventures. Ocala/Marion County brims with some of the most amazing freshwater springs and rivers in Florida. These crystal-clear waterways stay 72 degrees year-round, meaning tired athletes will find the refreshment they’re looking for after the big game.

Horse Farm Tours

Teams and families can explore the Horse Capital of the World® by touring some of the horse farms or hitting the trails by horseback.


The area also boasts some top-quality museums if you are in the mood for more refined entertainment.

Couple petting horse in Ocala/Marion County

6. Team-friendly Dining

You and your group will eat like champs in Ocala/Marion County — and do it affordably, too. Our destination is packed with team-friendly restaurants of all types:

  • burgers and wings at sports-themed establishments
  • barbecue joints
  • pizza places
  • eclectic and chic eateries
  • quick-stop ice cream and treats
  • and more!

You’ll find everyone’s favorite chains throughout the area, all of which are used to accommodating large groups of famished young athletes. But we also have lots of unique, locally owned restaurants in quaint settings, ideal for smaller groups or chaperones who are looking for a little grown-up time. However you choose to fuel up after a day of competition, you can be sure that your group will go home with endless memories of good food and good times. Click here for more information on dining options in Ocala/Marion County.

Restaurant in Ocala/Marion County

7. Great Weather

With an average high of 80° Fahrenheit in the hottest summer months and 57° Fahrenheit in the cool winter, Ocala/Marion County offers temperate conditions perfect for competitive play. While traditionally, a rainy season happens during the summer, showers are normally quick to pass, which allows for continued tournaments or other events at all times of the year.

Aerial view of river and forest in Ocala/Marion County on a sunny day

8. Plenty of Support

Our Visitors and Convention Bureau offers an all-star staff that’s ready to help you make your next event one for the record books. They’ll treat you like the MVP — Most Valuable Planner — you are, and do everything they can to help knock your event out of the park! Email Sales@MarionFL.org or call 352-438-2800.


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