Maryland SoccerPlex Kicks in $30 Million for Local Economy in 2014
6 Oct, 2014
Venue's Value for Montgomery County Surges Thanks to U.S. Youth Nationals, Washington Spirit
A 2012 economic impact analysis of the Maryland SoccerPlex conducted by the Conference and Visitor's Bureau of Montgomery County, Md. concluded that the venue's 12 top youth sports tournaments bring in about $25 million annually for the local economy. In 2014, the SoccerPlex's total impact has spiked to more than $30 million.
The $25 million figure reported in 2012 takes into account spending by visitors coming from outside Montgomery County on food, lodging, entertainment, local transportation and retail purchases. It also includes money spent by tournament organizers and the facility's annual operating expenses.
However since that data was collected, the SoccerPlex has added major components to its already extensive list of activity, adding a significant bump to the complex's overall contribution to the local economy for 2014. Chief among those additions are the return of a professional women's soccer franchise to the venue's championship stadium in 2013, and hosting the 2014 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, widely considered the top event in American youth soccer.
Those events generated an estimated additional $5.2 million to the SoccerPlex's economic impact on Montgomery County in 2014.
2014 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships: In July 2014, the SoccerPlex hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, a six-day event widely regarded as the pinnacle of American travel soccer featuring 96 of the top teams from around the country.
The CVB and the SoccerPlex partnered on an economic study of the event, which concluded $4-5 million in value. This included 8,000 hotel room nights and almost a week's worth of living and transportation expenses for the participants.
On top of the multi-million dollar impact, the SoccerPlex and in turn Montgomery County expect the successful U.S. Youth Nationals showing to lead to more high-profile hosting opportunities.
"The college coaches and tournament directors who attended Nationals will start considering the SoccerPlex for their events, which will bring even more economic development to Montgomery County," said SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger.
Washington Spirit: The SoccerPlex's championship stadium, recently named Maureen Hendricks Field, became the permanent home of the Washington Spirit, a National Women's Soccer League franchise, when the upstart league began play in the Spring of 2013.
Washington recently completed its second year in the NWSL, and has drawn an average of 3,800 fans through 23 regular season home matches since moving into the SoccerPlex. With all of the top names in women's soccer such as Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Sidney LeRoux, Megan Rapinoe and others regularly appearing as visiting players, along with the Spirit's own United States stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, and Canadian legend Diana Mattheson, the team has brought nearly 90,000 total fans to the SoccerPlex in its first two seasons.
In total, the Washington Spirit provide an estimated $700,000 in annual economic impact, which includes: team expenses and game day operations, concessions, merchandise sales, travel and lodging expenses for visiting teams and out-of-town guests, and local spending by fans, teams and staff, outside vendors, media and others.
Other factors not included in the overall total are the intangible impact of having a pro team call the SoccerPlex home and the advertising reach for the NWSL.
Maryland SoccerPlex 2014 Overall Economic Impact
Top 12 youth tournaments: $25 million
2014 U.S. Youth Soccer Nationals: $4.5 million
Washington Spirit: $700,000
Total: $30.2 million
About the Maryland SoccerPlex: The Maryland SoccerPlex (www.mdsoccerplex.org - 18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds, MD 20841) features 22 professionally maintained, regulation-sized soccer fields. The SoccerPlex offers a combination of playing surfaces with 11 Kentucky bluegrass fields, 7 Bermuda grass fields, 3 synthetic turf fields with lights and an award-winning Kentucky bluegrass stadium field with lights and permanent bleacher seating.
The SoccerPlex hosts youth leagues, adult leagues, youth tournaments, NCAA Division I college matches and conference championships (ACC), U.S. Open Cup matches (D.C. United), professional women's matches (Washington Spirit) and a variety of international teams and competitions.