Steamboat Springs City Council gave its blessing this week to a new kind of soccer tournament that could bring up to 1,000 people here over Labor Day weekend.
The "Force Labor Day 3V3 Soccer Tournament" would pit teams of just three players against one another on small fields with even smaller goals. Goalies aren't part of the three-on-three game, according to tournament organizer Amy Snider.
City Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreation Chris Wilson got council's approval to host the tournament on city soccer fields.
Snider is both a midfielder and the general manager of the women's semi-pro soccer team in Fort Collins known as the Force. At one time a not-for-profit organization, Snider said the team recently became a division of the Triple Crown company, which has brought softball and baseball tournaments to Steamboat for many years.
The affiliation with Triple Crown put the soccer team on more solid financial footing, Snider said, and the Steamboat tournament would be a source of revenue for the squad. It travels all over the country to play at the highest level of women's soccer short of the national team.
Three-on-three soccer tournaments are becoming very popular on Colorado's Front Range, according to Snider.
"I'm pretty excited about the tournament because it will be an event where local soccer kids can participate in it," Snider said. "It's good for the kids developmentally it really forces them to move on the field."
Snider said the Labor Day tournament in Steamboat will be open to both adult and youth teams. She expects it to bring up to 1,000 people to town.
Wilson told City Council the tournament would be limited to play at Ski Town Park near the ski area's remote parking lot.
"We estimate the tournament has the potential to bring in $9,000 to $12,000 in incremental sales tax revenue," Wilson told council. "We don't have any other local or outside events planned for this field at this time. It seemed to be a good fit."
City Councilwoman Kathy Connell voiced her support for the tournament.
"I think it's a marvelous event because it will bring families," Connell said.
Snider said three-on-three soccer is played on a field about half the size of a traditional soccer field about 30 yards wide by 40 yards long. There are goals at either end of the field, just like in regular soccer, but they are a little bit shorter and a little bit wider than a hockey goal. There is a premium on athletes who can launch a lot of shots on goal, Snider said, but it's also important to have players with strong defensive skills.
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