Knoxville, Tenn. — The World Sports League has named Knox County’s Sportspark as its “Complex of the Year for Tennessee.”
The park, nominated by the organization’s state board of directors, was picked over roughly 40 complexes, including finalists like the Summit in Chattanooga and Cane Ridge in Nashville.
The World Sports League (WSL) is a national organization that hosts thousands of adult slow-pitch softball tournaments across 34 states each year.
The Knox County Sportspark, located at 8050 Oak Ridge Highway in Karns, features four baseball/softball fields, one field exclusively for baseball and three practice football fields. The park also has a playground, a walking trail, concessions, a kayak launch and a pavilion for picnics.
“Each year we recognize a ‘complex of the year’ whose staff has gone above and beyond and we’ve always had a great partnership with Knox County,” said Casey McClure, a regional director with WSL. “There were 39 complexes in the state of Tennessee used last year, so it’s a big deal and working with (the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department) is always great.”
The Sportspark will now compete against four others – ones in Virginia, Florida, Alabama and Ohio – for national honors.
“It took all of us to get this recognition so I want to say ‘thank you’ for everyone doing their part,” said Jennifer Gentry, sports operation manager for the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department. “When the team is rowing together, anything is possible.”
In Tennessee, the WSL typically hosts about 500 tournaments each year, including six “key dates” in Knox County, which “are pretty much staples in the community,” McClure said. “This is a big deal. There’s not a lot of slow pitch softball places left in Knoxville. But people know Karns is the place to go to play in nice parks.”
The next major tournament is set for early May when more than 120 teams from across the nation will compete at the Sportspark.