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Sports Destinations in Ohio

Sports fans have plenty of reasons to cheer on a tour of the Buckeye State.

From professional sports venues to sports history and hands-on opportunities, destinations across Ohio cater to fans and participants alike. With three major cities, Ohio is home to professional sports franchises of every variety. The state also has great golf and a prominent place in sports history.

Groups can take in a pro baseball, basketball or football game in Cleveland, or brush up on their gridiron history with a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton. Cincinnati has sports history too, as its Reds are among the oldest sports franchises in the nation.

In Columbus, travelers can get a taste of up-and-coming professional sports, including NHL hockey and Major League Soccer. And on the Lake Erie shorefront, a pair of excellent golf courses invite travelers to get in on the sporting action themselves.


Gridiron Glory

There are no professional sports teams in Canton today, but sports fans still visit the city from far and wide to enjoy its premier attraction: the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Professional football had early roots in Canton, and the hall of fame and museum galleries trace the growth of the sport from its infancy in the early 20th century to its current dominance of the sports marketplace. Visitors will see a large number of historic artifacts and memorabilia, including players’ jerseys, equipment and championship rings.

In addition to the static displays, galleries at the museum include exhibits that use video, audio and special effects to highlight the athletic prowess of professional football players and the high drama of past Super Bowls. Visitors can also try their hand at various football skills and test their knowledge of football trivia and officiating rules in the museum’s interactive section.


Golf on the Lake

The western end of Ohio’s Lake Erie shore is full of scenic spots and secluded spots, making it an ideal destination for a round of golf. Two prominent courses in the area offer golf outing opportunities for groups.

The golf course at Maumee Bay State Park was designed in 1991 and sits on 1,850 acres of protected wetlands on the park’s lakeshore. The par-72, Scottish links-style course is noted among aficionados for its challenging water hazards and value for players. The course is open April through October.

Nearby in Huron, Sawmill Creek Golf Club at Sawmill Creek Resort is open to guests and nonguests alike. Designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1974, the par-71 course is bordered by Lake Erie, Sheldon’s Marsh and Sawmill Creek, making scenic views a part of the player’s experience.



Pro Paradise

With professional teams in each of the major sports, Cleveland is Ohio’s headquarters for the serious sports fan.

Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians play throughout the summer at Progressive Field. In addition to getting group tickets for a baseball game, travel planners can arrange for their customers to take special group tours of the stadium, where they’ll see the dugout, batting cages, bullpen and other facilities used by the Indians on game day.

Quicken Loans Arena is home to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as a hockey team and an indoor football team. Groups can get special ticket packages to any of the dozens of sports events that take place throughout the year.

The NFL’s Cleveland Browns play at First Energy stadium. Tours of the stadium will be suspended during the 2015 offseason as the facilities undergo renovation. Once they resume, the tours will showcase team locker rooms and allow visitors to walk onto the field.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.