Foley Has a November Filled with Soccer Events
12 Nov, 2018
Foley Sports Tourism (FST) has grown immensely in the two years since opening, and while continuing to host new sports, Foley’s reputation is nationally known as a soccer destination. This November, the facility will play host to an anticipated 5,000 soccer players during the five soccer tournaments it has on the calendar.
November kicked off with the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Championship October 31 – November 4. Appalachian State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas State University, Coastal Carolina University, Georgia State University, University of South Alabama, Texas State University and Troy University will be competing in a direct elimination bracket to determine who will earn the conference title and NCAA playoff berth. The South Alabama Jaguars have won the conference the previous five years but will face stiff competition to claim a sixth consecutive title from number one seed and regular season champ Texas State Bobcats. The matches were also broadcast on ESPN+.
A mere 13 days later another collegiate champion will be crowned at the same stadium. The NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship will run from November 11 – 17. The Championship game will be held on November 17 under the lights at 6 p.m.
It will be a long week of competition for 12 teams from around the nation, several who won’t qualify until the week before. Pool play will determine the top four teams who will meet in semifinal matches. While the NJCAA is no stranger to Foley, having just been in town in May for the Division II Men’s Golf Championships, this is the first time the women’s soccer championship will be held at FST.
Foley will again welcome collegiate club soccer teams from around the nation at the end of the month for the NIRSA National Soccer Championships November 29 – December 1. It’s the second time NIRSA, Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, has chosen Foley for their university-sport club soccer championships, previously held in 2016.
The tournament is made up of 96 teams, 48 men’s and 48 women’s, who qualified through a regional tournament or a lottery. Some of the teams already qualified include Colorado State University, the University of Minnesota, and Iowa State University.
In addition to three collegiate championships in one month, FST is also hosting two youth soccer tournaments in November. The first up is the Alabama Soccer Association’s (ASA) State Cup November 2 -4. The State Cup is expected to welcome 100 boys’ and girls’ youth teams from around Alabama to town to determine the best of the best.
Youth club teams will also take to the fields November 16 -18 for the Coastal Academy Cup. This tournament will feature teams from around the U.S. and has grown from 95 teams in 2017 to an anticipated 150 teams this year. Coastal Academy Cup currently has a waiting list for teams still trying to register in certain age divisions.
A Soccer Destination
While November used to be considered a quiet time for the city, FST expects Foley to be a hot spot for visitors throughout the month. With an anticipated 5,000 soccer players, plus coaches, staff, families, and friends scheduled to travel to town, FST staff is hoping for a great return on investment.
“Foley is truly being recognized as a soccer destination,” said Foley Director of Recreation and Sports Tourism, David Thompson. “We are bringing in new sports all the time including wrestling, bridge, volleyball, and gymnastics, but soccer is where we started. We want to replicate our success across other sports and bring more visitors to our city. At the same time, it is part of our mission to always provide the best possible experiences, on the field and off, to all of our visitors. It’s our goal to not just be a soccer destination but the soccer destination.”
For those looking to learn more about the November of soccer or any FST events visit our website at www.FoleySportsTourism.com.