World’s Largest Field Hockey Tournament Returns to Longtime Playing Grounds
15 Nov, 2017
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).
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.
"We are delighted to be returning the National Hockey Festival to the International Polo Club in The Palm Beaches," said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Executive Director. "We can all be confident that we will strive to put on the very best Festival for athletes, club and college coaches, umpires, sponsors, volunteers and family members."
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.
In 2016, this event delivered nearly $8 million of direct visitor spending and over 11,000 hotel room nights. Field hockey athletes, coaches, and spectators will be occupying hotels countywide.
"The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is honored and excited to host USA Field Hockey and its National Hockey Festival for the second straight year," said George Linley, Palm Beach County Sports Commission Executive Director. "The abundance of new dollars and rise in hotel occupancy will be welcomed by the hospitality and business community. Hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and attractions from Jupiter to Boca Raton will experience a surge of business over Thanksgiving weekend."
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. For More information, contact the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at (561) 233-3180.