INSTITUTE, W.Va (WOWK) – The 2019 US Youth Soccer Eastern Presidents Cup will take place June 14th- 18th at both the Shawnee Sports Complex and the Barboursville Soccer Complex.
“Sports tourism is a 13-15 billion dollar a year industry and if you compare that to the NFL for instance that’s a 12 billion dollar industry, so it is actually bigger than the NFL,” says Kanawha County Commissioner, Ben Salango.
Shawnee Sports Complex is less than a year old and is already bringing in millions – and living up to expectations.
“We are landing tournaments and outdoing cities such as Miami and some of the really big tournaments and cities are coming here,” says Salango.
The tournament is split between the Barboursville Soccer Complex and the Shawnee facility in nearby Institute. It’s showing the thousands of families coming in what West Virginia has to offer.
“This is beautiful here its a really nice field and the girls are going to love playing on it,” says Jim Dalton who has traveled from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Presidents Cup is the first of four large soccer tournaments to come to Shawnee and Barboursville through 2020 with an estimated economic impact of 56 million overall. Each team only plays one game a day which leaves a lot of downtime.
“So they are looking for things to do, places to go to eat to shop so we are out here with a lot of information not just about Charleston but south charleston nitro, promoting the valley but getting these folks that are here for soccer out spending their money and enjoying our community,” Tim Brady, VP of sales and marketing Charleston CVB.