Steamboat soccer tournament fills up

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— Thanks to strong team registrations, the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament closed its registration early for the first time in 28 years. The July 13 to 15 tournament will bring in 120 teams to compete in U10 through U18 boys and girls divisions.

“We hate turning teams away,” said Michelle Petix, the tournament’s assistant director. “But we do not want to water down the experience. We want people to have fun.”

As in years past, the tournament still is looking for support and sponsors. Petix said the cost of putting on the tournament this year is north of $71,000.

The event serves as the main fundraiser for the Steamboat Soccer Club and remains a driver of one of the busiest summer weekends.

In 2011, the tournament, paired with the Tour de Steamboat, was the busiest summer weekend with 83 percent of Steamboat lodging properties occupied. In 2010, the tournament was the second-busiest summer weekend behind a weekend that featured the Steamboat Wine Fest, Ride 4 Yellow and a Triple Crown World Series event.

“We definitely support them with special event funding,” said Michelle Krasilinec, spokeswoman for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “We understand the importance of them coming to town.”

This year, the tournament received $2,500 in special event funding from the Chamber.

Organizers last year expressed concern that the tournament may not continue because of a lack of local business sponsorships. With this year’s tournament drawing 120 teams, conservative estimates put the number of visitors coming to town for the event at 10,000.

“We’re the largest event of the summer,” Petix said. “The whole town benefits.”

Opportunities are available to sponsor some of the 14 brackets. There also are advertising opportunities in the official tournament program, Petix said.

“I can’t overstate the importance of community support we have,” Petix said. “We appreciate the community’s support. It’s mutually beneficial.”

For more information, call Petix at 970-846-2686.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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