The Big Stage of the Pacific

Since 2011, the city of Pasadena has invested $182 million in upgrades to the Rose Bowl Stadium, which was built in 1922 and is home field for UCLA football. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

By Rachel Carter

Sometimes the best locations are the hardest to reach. Rare is the exotic destination that doesn’t require a long flight and maybe some extra driving. But as athletes know, rewards don’t come without challenges. And taking teams to a subarctic city surrounded by Alaskan wilderness or to a tropical Pacific paradise will probably sound pretty exciting to everyone involved.

Helen Renfrew, meetings and conventions director for Explore Fairbanks in Alaska, laid out a common scenario: “For any given function, a group looks at us and understands it’s difficult to get where we are. On the other hand, there are groups that think, ‘I am so going there.’”

Throughout the Pacific region, certain destinations offer more than organizers expect, whether it’s wilderness within reach, fresh mountain air, plenty of sports facilities surrounded by beautiful western scenery and a welcoming local spirit. The hardest part of an event might be reminding everyone it’s time to head home.

To read the rest of this story in the digital edition of SportsTravel, please click here.