Though many are familiar with this as a party game to be played with the hand not holding a beer, cornhole has become a serious sport.
Indeed, there’s a professional cornhole league – and it’s headed to Mesa.
Already growing in popularity, interest in the bean bag tossing game surged during the pandemic. The social-distancing-friendly activity was featured on national networks.
As entertainment publication Variety noted last May, “The American Cornhole League’s ‘Cornhole Mania 2020’ aired on ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday, bringing four hours of live sports to a public and a network starved for them.”
While the pandemic is (hopefully) waning, cornhole’s popularity continues to increase.
And a pro league is headed to one of the biggest sports facilities planned for the East Valley.
This week, Legacy Sports USA announced a partnership with the American Cornhole League to host an ACL Pro event at Legacy Sports Park every June for the next five years.
The partnership begins in 2022, a few months after the 320-acre, $250 million, multi-use family sports and entertainment complex is scheduled to open in southeast Mesa.
“We are stoked to be heading to Legacy Sports Park over the next five years. The facility is an ultimate sports destination that will be a perfect fit for cornhole players and athletes,” said ACL Chief Marketing Officer Trey Ryder.
Legacy Sports Park, under construction near East Pecos and South Ellsworth roads, will host baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball tournaments, as well as pickleball and, now, cornhole.
ACL’s Pro tournaments are nationally-televised events.
The first event at Legacy Sports Park will take place June 3-5 and will be televised live on CBS Sports.
“Professional cornhole continues to grow in popularity and the ACL is the leader among professional cornhole leagues in the country, ‘’ said Brett Miller, chief operating officer of Legacy Sports USA. “We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to showcase the sport and Legacy Sports Park on national television for the next five years,”
This year’s ACL World Championship is scheduled for Aug. 2-8 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Winners will split prize money of at least $150,000.
Before then, the finals of the 2021 ACL Pro Invitational are scheduled for 11 a.m. today, July 4. ESPN will broadcast the competition live, from a casino in Valley Forge.
The league is also focused on continuing to grow the sport “for any age and any skill level.”
Meanwhile, the new facility continues with its plan to become the go-to place in the East Valley.
In addition to sports, Legacy Sports Park also will feature a multi-purpose arena and outdoor amphitheater, with live concerts, family shows, exhibitions and conventions.
For more information, visit legacysportsusa.com. ′