Rocky Top Sports World

DSCN1545 DSCN1547 DSCN1552 DSCN1554by:Louis Garrett Kahl

Rocky Top Sports World, the newest sports tournament destination in the country, has just opened in Gatlinburg, located on 80 acres off of Highway 321. The City of Gatlinburg and Sevier County came together to help finance this $200 million dollar facility, with Gatlinburg funding 70% of the project.

Construction began in March 2013. The Sports Facilities Advisory was brought in to oversee the development and day to day operations. The complex officially opened on July 12 with two events: the Smoky Mountain Lacrosse Classic, which included teams from Sevier County, and the Smoky Mountains Basketball Fun Day that gave local children an opportunity to take part in different basketball contests for free.

Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this 86,000 square foot facility includes ten hardwood courts and seven outdoor fields. The indoor facility, also known as The Rock, has 53,000 square feet of hardwood floor. With six full-sized basketball courts plus four more on site, the courts can be arranged to make twelve volleyball courts plus five more on site. A stadium that has a press box and a seating capacity of 1,500 is also incorporated into the seven synthetic outdoor fields.

The Rock also offers a full-service indoor/outdoor café, team rooms, offices for visiting coaches and a balcony above the courts for scouts and spectators. With over 40,000 square feet of column free, indoor space Rocky Top Sports World can also host a wide variety of special events and ceremonies.

Even though they have just opened their doors, Rock Top Sports World has already scheduled numerous tournaments and camps hosted by many big name athletes and companies. Jenna Handshoe, Tusculum College Women’s lacrosse coach, will host a Lax to the Max girls summer camp July 21-24. The Marvel Madness youth basketball tournament will be held July 25-27, with the opportunity for middle school and high school students to play against athletes from around the country.

Former University of Tennessee and Denver Nuggets forward Vincent Yarbrough will host a basketball skills camp for 2nd to 12th grade boys July 28-31 featuring former college and NBA players. On September 27, Nike is hosting a pre-draft basketball camp for 6th to 12th grade youth that will offer exclusive “pro-styled” athletic coaching and training programs with limited space available.

Over 13,500 athletes are expected to visit this state of the art facility within the first year, attracting a whole new group of visitors to this area. As marketing director Lori Moore pointed out, with 550,000 pounds of dirt moved onto the site during construction, Rocky Top Sports World can accurately say that “we’ve moved mountains for you.”

To register for these tournaments and camps or for more information on additional camps and tournaments, sponsors, advertising, employment or to book your next special event there visit the facilities website at


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