Maury County's Ridley Park Growing as a Sports Tournament Hot Spot
Ridley Park in Columbia is becoming a popular destination for sports tournaments.
The top-ranked University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team played against the MTSU Lady Blue Raiders in Columbia in March 2014. Nothing unusual about the game, except that it was played at the Ridley Park sports complex.
Located along state Route 243, Ridley Park opened in 2011 as a 12-field, multi-purpose sports facility with 10 baseball/softball diamonds and two football/soccer fields. The complex hosted 15 tournaments during its inaugural year, and more than 30 tournaments are planned for 2014.
“In 2012, we hosted the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association Tournament that attracted several high schools, including Murfreesboro's Riverdale High School that was coached by Jeff Breeden who has since become the MTSU Lady Blue Raiders head coach,” says Brian Borden, City of Columbia director of parks and recreation.“ Jeff raved about the 2012 high school tournament and our fields, then became instrumental in scheduling the MTSU-UT game at Ridley Park.”
Borden says the complex has received rave reviews for its natural grass playing surfaces. He credits the facility's groundskeepers for making Ridley Park a desirable destination for teams to come play.
“We have a fully booked schedule in 2014 from word of mouth – we haven't had to bid for any tournaments,” he says. “Most tournaments feature 35-50 teams, so that's about 2,500 people staying in local hotels, eating at restaurants, buying gasoline and shopping at stores. Ridley Park provides a great economic boost for Columbia and Maury County throughout the spring, summer and fall.”
Read more about great places for outdoor recreation in Maury County.