Youth soccer tournament boosts Treasure Valley economy

With over 10,000 visitors from 14 states in the West, the Far West Regional Championships are expected to bring in more than $8 million to the local economy.

BOISE, Idaho – Treasure Valley’s economy was blindsided more than 15 months ago when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the Gem State. Now, the Valley is hosting more than 10,000 people from more than a dozen states for the 2021 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships.

At the Simplot Sports Complex in Boise, all 16 football fields were put to good use for the Far West Regional Championship, which includes boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, ages 13–19, from 14 states.

This is the seventh time that Boise has hosted a soccer tournament.

According to Bill Taylor, former president of the Idaho Youth Soccer Association, Idaho overtook 13 other states to host the tournament.

“Idaho is one of the smaller states. When you look at the other states in our region, for us, we’ve always been kind of an underdog, and we like that mentality, Idahoans kind of get to Let’s work hard for scrap and scrap. For the final,” he said.

Taylor said that Boise is the ideal place to host the tournament.

“The convenience is fantastic when you look at the parking we have and that, the ease of flying in Boise and the hotels that have been built, all these things lead to the atmosphere of a perfect football tournament,” he said.

While the players are focusing on winning the championship, the local authorities are focusing on the boom in business that the tournament will bring. The City of Trees will attract about 10,000 visitors for the tournament, many of whom will buy more than just a plane ticket.

“They’re going to be here all week, they’re eating out, going shopping, between games and as soon as the teams end, you know, maybe even lose, they’re still all the entertainment in town. There are more things to enjoy we have to offer,” Carrie Vestergaard, executive director of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, told KTVB.

With 210 teams coming from all over the West, even from Alaska and Hawaii, the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that the tournament would bring about $8.3 million to the Treasure Valley economy.

“It’s a big event and it’s really exciting for the region and we really didn’t even know if it would happen until a few months ago and the hospitality community in particular is really looking forward to this week,” Vestergaard explained.

The 2021 US Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championship will be both where the teams in Idaho and the economy of Boise will return.

“For me, to come out of a pandemic and be able to see the kids that I coach, because I coach too, to be able to find a love and passion for the sport when they go through such dark times, It’s an important thing,” Taylor said.

Due to the heat wave in much of the West, organizers have split the games into three periods instead of two to give players more time to hydrate and cool down.

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