To a large extent, the Avanti’s Dome events center plays a role for Pekin similar to the function that the Peoria Civic Center performs for Peoria. The venue boasts a dome, 76,000 square feet of open space, two banquet rooms with a total capacity of 250 people, and a four-diamond outdoor baseball and softball complex.

Besides sporting events, the Avanti’s Dome is equipped to host fundraisers, shows, concerts, parties and even carnivals.

“We are able to put just about anything in our dome or our great big open space,” said Sheri Verardo, general manager of the Avanti’s Dome. “If we need bleachers for an event, we’re able to get bleachers. If special flooring is needed, we can get that. We can turn our venue into just about anything you might need. The best thing about us is we are owned by Avanti’s, so not only do we have (our) own chef here who can make a menu of your choice but we also have Avanti’s food available. Or, you can mix the two.”

According to Verardo, the Avanti’s Dome will host sporting events throughout the summer, featuring United States Softball Association, National Softball Association Global Sports League softball tournaments every weekend. The facility will also host a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament July 27 and 28.

“We’ve had MMA here in the past, but it’s been a few years since the last tournament, so I’m glad to have it back,” she said. “It’s something you can normally see only in big cities, but we’re bringing it to Pekin.” 

Fundraisers coming to the Avanti’s Dome this summer include a June 16 Firearms Frenzy, which was organized by the wetlands and waterfowl conservation group Ducks Unlimited. The group raffled off a gun every five minutes throughout the event. Other summer highlights include a Cornhole Tournament, which was on June 22-24, and there will be an Alzheimer’s Association vendor fairs July 21 and Aug. 25. 

“The Cornhole Tournament (was) our biggest event this summer,” said Verardo. “It (was) basically a bags tournament, but (it was) the biggest tournament in the Midwest. People (came) from all over the Midwest to participate. It’s something you can do in your backyard, but it’s neat to come here and see all the different teams participate. The Alzheimer’s vendor fairs are important, because we didn’t used to hear very much about Alzheimer’s disease. But now it seems like everybody knows someone who has it. And I know there are a lot of hunters and gun enthusiasts in the area who would enjoy the Firearms Frenzy.”

The Avanti’s Dome is located at 3401 Griffin Ave., Pekin. For a complete schedule of upcoming events, visit avantisdome.com/events.