When it comes to play, Evansville doesn’t kid around. Enough balls, racquets, wheels, blades, bats, goggles and plain old sneakered feet are in motion on any given day to make the Olympics look laid back.
The city’s parks and recreation department manages more than 1,200 teams and 10,000 players each year, offering men’s, women’s and co-ed adult programs in flag football, volleyball, sand volleyball, soccer, softball and basketball. It maintains 65 park facilities, three golf courses and a nature preserve.
“It’s a quality of life issue for our community,” says park planner Glenn Boberg. “We provide a respite for people to get outside and get some exercise. It’s a chance for people to have some fun and do a lot of nice family things.”
One jewel in Evansville’s crown is the Swonder Ice Rink and Skate Park
, which offers opportunities for ice skating individuals and teams year-round, and rollerblading facilities for the brave and well padded.
The new Goebel Soccer Complex boasts nine full-size Bermuda grass fields and an artificial turf field also used for football by the Evansville Vipers semipro football team.
For more leisurely pursuits, Evansville offers the 12,000-seat Roberts Stadium, home to concerts, ice shows, rodeos and University of Evansville
Adjacent Mesker Park also has an 8,500-seat amphitheater for concerts and summer movies.
Two sections of a planned 42 miles of walking-jogging-biking trails around the city have been completed. A third section, now under way, will connect the first two, winding along the river, around a lake and crossing only two streets along the way.