Soccer tournaments to bring in an estimated $32 million for W.Va.
West Virginia has been chosen for several major youth sporting events over the next two years expected to bring in millions of dollars to the state.
Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that the state has been selected to host three major regional soccer tournaments in 2019 and 2020:
-2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships
-2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern President’s Cup
-2020 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern President’s Cup
The events will be hosted at the Shawnee Park Sports Complex and the Barboursville Soccer Complex.
Justice said the positive economic impact of having so many people visit is estimated at $32 million for the region.
The governor hosted a press conference Friday joined by city, county and state representatives, and state and national athletic association officials.
"Not only that, people are going to get to see what we're really all about," Justice said. "We're really, really, really happy about this."
With the 2019 Eastern Regional Championships alone, 225 girls and boys teams will be in West Virginia. The 5-day tournament is expected to bring in $16 million. The event is for 12U through 19U age groups.
The President's Cup tournaments will include approximately 100 boys and girls teams. Those two events will provide an economic impact of $8 million each year. The event is for 12U through 18U age groups.
Justice said sporting events are great for tourism, benefit the players physically and mentally, and provide entertainment for all ages.
Shawnee Park plans to host between eight and 10 additional tournaments in 2019 in various sports including soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and football.
“I fully expect that the economic impact from the first full year of the new Shawnee Park Sports Complex will exceed $30 million and, in all likelihood, approach $40 million or more," Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango stated in a press release. “We designed the new Shawnee Park Sports Complex to be the premier youth sports facility in West Virginia, one capable of attracting the very best -- that is why I am so excited that we can partner with US Youth Soccer and Barboursville to host the Eastern Regionals and the President’s Cup. These tournaments will bring thousands of youth sport participants and their families to our great state and county. In addition to showcasing Shawnee Park and the Kanawha Valley, the tournaments will provide a boost to our local economy to the tune of $32 million in new spending. That is significant for hotels, restaurants, and all local businesses.”
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper stated, “Today proves that the Shawnee Park Sports Complex has been tremendous investment in our community and our County. I want to thank US Youth Soccer, it is truly an honor to host these tournaments.”
Commissioner Hoppy Shores added, “This is a great day, I am excited that thousands of children will soon be able to play on the brand-new turf fields at Shawnee Park.”