The NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge regale hoops fans with basketball savvy from a roster stacked with talent looking to play their way into the NBA. Donning the same yellow-and-red color scheme of their affiliate squad, the Charge compete in the East Division of the NBA D-League. The team plays in the Canton Civic Center, where sounds of cheering fans and squeaking shoes echo off of rafters and occasionally create a high-pitched rhythm that the Charge Girls, the team's dance squad, can groove to.
In 2009, the Cleveland City Stars folded, leaving the Sixth City without a soccer franchise to call its own. Two years later, the group of local soccer supporters known as the 6th City Syndicate finally found a new team to cheer for as AFC Cleveland (its initials: A Fans' Club) joined the National Premier Soccer League, finally bringing the beloved sport back to Cleveland's glacially-formed soccer stadiums. Bolstered by the Syndicate's support, the team surged into the NPSL spotlight in its very first season, winning the first-ever Rust Belt Derby and upsetting the Erie Admirals to claim the Great Lakes Conference championship.
A freestanding climbing wall with craggy angles and multiple inclines steals the spotlight at Vandalia Recreation Center by soaring to 27 feet up the middle of an atrium. But climbing is far from the 58,000-square-foot center’s only attraction. Gravity-bound members burn calories at a fleet of cardio machines and build muscle with strength equipment and free weights in the fitness center, and a three-lane, 1/16-mile track helps runners train for catching the gingerbread man. At the Aquatic Center, a zero-depth entry pool welcomes swimmers who rack up laps and children who whoosh down a twisting waterslide and through a giant frog’s mouth or frolic in waterfalls. A vortex and bubble bench set the stage for aquatic fitness, useful for independent exercise or formal classes.
Aquatic aerobics sessions join plenty of other organized activities on the center’s bustling schedule of fitness classes. Students stretch during yoga, break a sweat to the Latin beats of Zumba, and pump their legs through spinning classes. While parents work up a sweat, their offspring head to childcare at Ricky’s Tiny Tikes (ages 6 months to 4 years) or Luther’s Jungle indoor playground. Here, children 4 and older clamber through the jungle-themed slides, tubes, and nets with the help of a bi-level play structure or polish their da Vinci forgeries with paper and crayons.
Elton John. Dolly Parton. Dave Matthews Band. Harlem Globetrotters. These are just a handful of celebrated acts that have descended upon Winston-Salem Entertainment Sports Complex over the years. The sprawling event center remains a go-to destination for visitors who want to catch a first-rate concert, root for their favorite sports team, or get an autography from their favorite gym towel.
The Columbus Crew thrill footsport fans with fast-paced Major League Soccer action in a cheer-inducing atmosphere. This nationally televised FOX Sports matchup pits hometown heroes The Crew against the 2010 MLS Cup Finalists, FC Dallas, as they go foot-to-foot for the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup. From an upper-sideline seat, cheer on black-and-gold protagonists such as Andres Mendoza, a goal guru and newcomer from the Peruvian national team, brick-wall defender Chad Marshall, and dream-crushing goalkeeper William Hesmer.
Izzee's BareFoot Bar is stationed along the sand at The VolleyPark next to Sequoia Pro Bowl. The island-themed eatery refuels athletes fresh from a game of volleyball as well as spectators catching some sun. Underneath thatched tiki roofs and bright-yellow umbrellas, patrons can abide by the laid-back eatery's philosophy of "No shirt, no shoes, no problem" while noshing on bar food. The menu features quick snacks such as nachos and chicken tenders as well as bigger meals including pizzas and half-pound Angus burgers. Izzee's BareFoot Bar at The VolleyPark is open Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday nights customers can partake in open volleyball at no additional charge from 5 p.m. to midnight.