Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament scores a tourism assist |

Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament scores a tourism assist

Luke Graham

— The biggest youth soccer tournament of the year takes to the pitch this weekend. The 28th annual Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament runs Friday through Sunday and will bring 120 teams from across the region and across the country.

"It gets people going all over town," said Michelle Petix, the tournament's assistant director. "They'll be going downtown. They'll be going to the mountain if they're at Ski Town or Whistler (fields). It really shares the love on the economic impact."

In 2011, the soccer tournament combined with the Tour de Steamboat cycling event and fundraiser to headline the busiest tourism weekend of the summer.

That weekend, 83 percent of Steamboat lodging properties were occupied.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's lodging barometer forecasts 80 percent occupancy this weekend with approximately 11,900 visitors spending the night in Steamboat on Saturday.

Boys and girls teams will compete in U11 to U18 divisions across five fields in Steamboat. Play will take place at Heritage Christian School, Gardner Field at Steamboat Springs High School, Emerald Park fields, Ski Town fields and Whistler Park. Games will begin each day at 8 a.m., with the last start times at 8:30 p.m. at Gardner and Ski Town fields.

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Steamboat has 15 local teams playing in this year's tournament.

The tournament also hosts a Soccer Fest on Friday. From 6 to 8 p.m., there will be music and children's games at Gardner Field. At 8 p.m., a coaches and referees game will take place. The game has 60 coaches and refs signed up and should feature high-level play. Everyone is welcome to attend Friday's Soccer Fest.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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