The world’s largest field hockey tournament will take place in The Palm Beaches for the second consecutive year this November. USA Field Hockey (USAFH) will partner with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to host the National Hockey Festival at the International Polo Club in Wellington over Thanksgiving weekend, from November 23 to November 25, 2017.
Nearly 200 teams, consisting of approximately 4,000 athletes from the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean will visit Palm Beach County to compete in this one-of-a-kind event. The participating teams will contend for titles in women's and men’s divisions, including women’s age group (Under 12, Under 14, Under 16, and Under 19), boy's age group (Under 12), and women’s open and mixed (adult). Over 600 field hockey games will take place during the National Hockey Festival, creating an extraordinary volume of competition.
The National Hockey Festival has a long and rich history with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Palm Beach County has been home to the National Hockey Festival on ten (10) previous occasions (most recently in 2016) and is the only Florida destination to host this event.
The International Polo Club is a remarkable venue that maintains 248 acres of land, consisting of nine (9) polo fields. This site was the critical ingredient in Palm Beach County’s successful bid. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will layout nearly thirty (30) field hockey pitches over six polo fields to accommodate a high volume of games. The partnership with the International Polo Club provides a competitive advantage for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission concerning recruiting and hosting major national and international sporting events.
The National Hockey Festival generates a tremendous economic and tourism impact. In 2016, this event delivered nearly $8 million of direct visitor spending and over 11,000 hotel room nights. Global JBS, the housing partner for USA Field Hockey, has assembled more than 40 hotels, located from Jupiter to Boca Raton, to offer housing accommodations for the National Hockey Festival. Field hockey athletes, coaches, and spectators will be occupying hotels countywide.
Thanksgiving is about rituals, stuffed turkeys, and football. However, the tradition is changing to include field hockey in The Palm Beaches. Don’t miss the National Hockey Festival, which provides a variety of festivities and a family-fun environment at the International Polo Club. The event is free and open to the public. The action starts Thursday, November 23 through Saturday, November 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. you do not want to miss this! For More information, contact the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at (561) 233-3180.
Check Out Highlights From The 2016 National Hockey Festival