When it comes to planning that big out-of-town tournament for your sports team, there are just so many things to think about. As the coach, you’ll be juggling hotel bookings while collecting funds, putting together your lineups and training your players for some elevated competition all at the same time. Team transportation is probably the last thing on your mind. Thankfully, it’s the first thing we think about, and we’re here to help. Consult our guide to planning that tournament in one of America’s biggest cities: Miami. Put us in, Coach. We’re ready to play!
When to book your bus
Right away! We always recommend booking your bus six months ahead of time, but we recognize that tournaments aren’t always planned that far out. Our advice to you in that case is to simply book as soon as you have confirmed dates and locations for your tournament.
Which bus is right for you?
Okay, so you’ve settled on a team bus as your mode of transportation for the big away tournament. Now comes the question: which bus is best for your group? We’ll simplify things for you. If your team has to bring lots of large equipment — we’re thinking football or hockey teams — then you should opt for the coach bus. For shorter trips with less equipment — say a basketball team from within the state — a classic yellow school bus, minibus, or sprinter van might be better. And since the largest portion of the cost of your charter bus is the driver’s time, the price difference between school buses and coach buses isn’t all too drastic.
Funding your tournament transportation
We know what you might be thinking: a team bus is just one more expense your team has to incur. True, but for all the reasons we’ve already mentioned, it’s just plain worth it. If you need help fitting the team bus into your budget, start with this helpful infographic we’ve put together. Our guide to funding bus rentals puts the fun in funding, and it will open your eyes to exactly what it will take to bring in the money for your team’s wheels. Once you’re ready to book, you can visit our website for a custom quote.
Many sports teams enforce a dress code, and if yours is one of those teams that likes to suit up in transit, we’ve got some advice you might be interested in. First, take that suit jacket off when you sit down to avoid wrinkles. (You’ll thank us later.) If you’re travelling with sports equipment (which you probably are) keep it out of the aisles. Make sure to choose a bus with undercarriage and overhead storage to avoid the danger and inconvenience of storing your stuff on or between seats. Finally, your road trip can be a crucial bonding experience for your team. As a coach or manager, think carefully about how to seat your players. If you let them choose where they sit, they’ll probably wind up in the same cliques and gangs as usual, so you might consider sitting players with those they aren’t as well-acquainted with, arranging them by position, or putting younger, quieter players with your team captains and leaders.
Need more tips? Check out our Packing Guide for Short/Medium/Long Bus Rides.
Travelling with minors requires a few documents, and it’s best to get these in line as early as possible because you never know how long they’ll take to collect. Each tour or sports group must have a designated chaperone, and that person should be responsible for collecting all pertinent documents and keeping them in a folder during travel. First, each minor travelling in the group must have a guardian sign a document of permission and acknowledge the chaperone has responsibility over their child. Second, the chaperone must sign a document acknowledging their responsibility.
As one of the United States’ most populous cities and one of its most popular travel destinations, you can be sure that Miami’s airport is super busy most days of the year. In fact, in 2018 it was America’s 13th busiest airport. So it goes without saying that transportation in and out can be a hassle. The charter bus continues to be a great option for airport pickups, and when you’re travelling with a large group or team, that is more true than ever. Forget parking headaches and confusing gate signs — arrive as a team with the help of an experienced driver.
Important Miami Sports Facilities
Cobb is a multi-purpose stadium on the main campus at the University of Miami — or, as students call it, The U. The Hurricanes’ track and field teams, and its women’s soccer team call the 500-seat stadium home. In the Coral Gables neighbourhood, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite between games.
The Knight Sports Complex was gifted to Miami University by the famous newspaper publisher, James L. Knight, and houses hard surface courts for basketball and volleyball. Its locker rooms and coaching offices are state-of-the-art.
The 30,000 square foot multipurpose athletic facility is the hub for Miami U’s student-athletes. It features a 100-seat auditorium, a training room, and a players’ lounge. Browse the first floor for all Hurricanes trophies, from football national championships to basketball regular season championships.
Riccardo Silva Stadium
The Florida International University campus features a 20,000 seat football stadium. It was newly renamed for Miami FC owner Silva, who donated money to the school so it could make improvements, including a Jumbotron scoreboard and a FieldTurf Revolution 360 playing surface.
Along with University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball games, the Watsco Center also hosts concerts and trade shows. It’s the largest arena built on the university’s campus.
Alex Rodriguez Park
The Hurricanes baseball field is named after the former MLB star who hails from Miami. The field was the beneficiary of a $3.9 million donation by A-Rod himself, the largest gift the school’s ball team has ever received. The team, and the field, has produced gifts of its own in the form of future MLB players Ryan Braun, Pat Burrell, and Yasmani Grandal.
Sites to visit while you’re in Miami
Hard Rock Stadium
If you’re lucky enough to be in Miami during football season, and specifically when the Dolphins have a home game, you should try and score tickets to the NFL’s Hard Rock Stadium during a break in the tournament. Not only will it be a fun afternoon or evening out for the team, your charter bus will make getting there and tailgating a breeze!
For summertime tournaments, what better way to spend a free evening as a team than a night at the ballpark? The 2012-built Marlins Park is a marvel on its own, and it’s a bonus if you can catch an appearance by MLB stars and Marlins division rivals like Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, and Jacob DeGrom.
American Airlines Arena
Remember that iconic Ray Allen buzzer-beater in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals to send the Heat to Game 7? It’s one of many epic moments that have happened at AmericanAirlines Arena. It was also the home of the infamous Big 3 Welcome Party in 2010, when 13,000 fans showed up to greet new signings Lebron James and Chris Bosh, joining Dwyane Wade.