PROVIDENCE – Tighten your laces, Rhode Island. In an announcement at the Rhode Island State House, Governor Lincoln Chafee and local organizing officials announced the arrival of a major youth soccer tournament that will be a “net” win for local businesses.
The United States Youth Soccer Region I Championships, part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, will be held in the Ocean State on June 27-July 2, 2013 and June 26-July 1, 2014. The event was previously held in Rhode Island in 2000 and 2004.
The competition is expected to attract 4,500 athletes from the surrounding 15 states. Officials are anticipating an additional 10,000 spectators will also be on hand. All games will be played at the University of Rhode Island (URI).
“This tournament is one of the largest in the country and the numbers only tell part of the story,” said John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission. “We’ll have teams here from Maine to West Virginia. It really is some of the best youth soccer, in terms of quality of play, anywhere. We are thrilled to announce this tournament will be residing in Rhode Island for two summers.”
In addition to the great sporting action, local businesses will also be scoring big. The event will generate an anticipated 25,000 hotel room nights over two years and utilize room nights throughout Rhode Island and into parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Such large hotel business required collaboration with the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), the Eastern Regional Tourism District of Connecticut, and many others.
“Our local hotel partners have really stepped up to the plate, so to speak, to help secure this business,” said Gibbons. “I cannot thank them and our partners at the U.R.I. enough.”
URI President David Dooley also praised the collaborative efforts that helped secure this event.
“I want to congratulate the governor, the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, Soccer Rhode Island and members of our Division of Students Affairs, Facilities Services, and Athletics staff, especially Joe Pittle, for all of their hard work in bringing such a prestigious soccer tournament to Rhode Island,” said President Dooley said. “The University is proud of its exceptional fields and facilities and we are pleased to partner with the state to help attract events like this that bring thousands of young athletes and families to Rhode Island."
“We are very happy to bring a prestigious event to the state of Rhode Island,” said Bob Palmeiro, Region I Director, Rhode Island Youth Soccer. “From Maine to West Virginia and as far west as Ohio, this event will being in millions of dollars in economic impact.”
The Rhode Island Sports Commission is a division of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau whose mission is to enrich the Rhode Island economy and community through the attraction, promotion and development of sporting events and associated meetings.