The American Youth Soccer Organization National Games is a Major Score for the Palm Beaches

July 6, 2016

The American Youth Soccer Organization
National Games is a Major Score
for the Palm Beaches

Thousands of soccer players from across the nation will transform
Palm Beach County into the epicenter of youth soccer.  

Palm Beach County will be home to one of the largest and most prestigious youth soccer events that takes place in the United States.  The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) will partner with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to host the AYSO National Games at the International Polo Club from July 4-10, 2016. 

A total of 240 soccer teams are invited to participate in the AYSO National Games, which is held every other year.  The 240 teams will bring over 4,500 athletes and 10,000 total visitors to the Palm Beaches, making this one of the most renowned youth soccer events in the United States.  The participating teams will contend for titles in boy’s and girl's divisions, featuring a variety of age groups (Under 10 to Under 19).   Over 1,200 soccer games will take place during the 2016 AYSO National Games, creating an unrivaled level of competition  during a single event. 

“We are very excited to see the AYSO National Games return to Palm Beach County for 2016,” said AYSO National President Mark Stewart. “The International Polo Club converts into one of the most stunning soccer facilities imaginable with over 30 soccer fields side by side on pristine natural grass. We expect the National Games to be an important economic contributor to Palm Beach County and a tremendous event for thousands of AYSO soccer players from across the United States. We know it will be an amazing experience for all.”

The AYSO National Games is expected to be the largest sports event to take place in Palm Beach County this summer. Palm Beach County was previously home to the AYSO National Games during July 2010.  However, the 2016 National Games will bring more soccer and more impact due to the event’s substantial growth in team and player participation. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s successful bid for this event was a landmark occasion for the entire state of Florida, which will host the AYSO National Games for only the second time during the event’s illustrious history. 

The International Polo Club is a remarkable venue that maintains over 300 acres of land, consisting of nine (9) polo fields. The venue was a key ingredient in Palm Beach County’s successful bid. This venue will allow for a layout that showcases more than 30 contiguous soccer fields.  The partnership with the International Polo Club provides a competitive advantage for Palm Beach County in regards to pursuing and hosting major national and international sports events. 

The AYSO National Games is much more than just a soccer tournament. AYSO will host a variety of youth events, celebrations, and festivals throughout Palm Beach County.  Unique to the AYSO National Games is SoccerFest.  At SoccerFest, all of the players are shuffled into new teams according to age level and play in a series of friendly games, giving everyone a chance to get to know each other before they take the field and start the “official” competition.

Very few communities have the privilege and ability to host the AYSO National Games, which transforms destinations into a soccer hub. The AYSO National Games provides enormous tourism benefits for host communities.  This event will generate over 10,000 hotel room nights and more than $7 million in direct visitor spending for Palm Beach County, which will significantly impact hotel occupancy levels, bed tax revenues, and economic impact during the month of July.   Soccer athletes, coaches, and spectators will be filling hotels and spending money countywide.

The American Youth Soccer Organization is one of the most admired associations promoting soccer in the United States.  AYSO was established in 1964 with nine teams and is the oldest national youth soccer organization in the U.S. Today, AYSO consists of more than 50,000 teams and over 500,000 players. Over the years, AYSO has created many valuable programs and concepts. Most notably, AYSO revolutionized youth sports with its "Everyone Plays®" and "Balanced Teams" philosophies. In AYSO, each child who registers is guaranteed to play at least half of every game.

AYSO Section 14 Director, Richard Schwartz, stated, "The AYSO National Games is a week-long celebration that brings together AYSO players, volunteers and parents from across our country. Over 4,500 players and approximately 10,000 individuals will be converging on Palm Beach County during the tournament week. This is a great way to show off what Florida and more specifically, Palm Beach County, has to offer. The economic boom that this creates for businesses in Palm Beach County is immeasurable. We look forward to working with the Palm Beach Sports Commission in making this the best National Games ever."

“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is honored and excited that the American Youth Soccer Organization will bring its most prestigious event to Palm Beach County”, says George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.  “The abundance of new dollars and rise in hotel occupancy will be welcomed by the hospitality and business community.  Hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and attractions from Jupiter to Boca Raton will experience a surge of business during the middle of summer. There are very few opportunities to host a single sporting event that will create a positive economic explosion countywide.  Its extra gratifying that AYSO has awarded only two bids for the National Games to Florida and both were presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and our local partners at AYSO Section 14.”

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About AYSO

The American Youth Soccer Organization is the largest single-entity youth soccer association in the U.S. with over 500,000 registered players and 125,000 registered volunteers. AYSO develops and delivers quality youth soccer programs in a fun, safe environment based on the Five Philosophies of Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching and Good Sportsmanship. To learn more about AYSO and how you can become a part of AYSO and the National Games experience, contact (800)USA-AYSO or visit www.AYSO.org..

About Palm Beach County Sports Commission

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports destination.  The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities.  The Commission supports and hosts sporting events that bring visitors from across the state, region, nation, or globe to grow tourism in Palm Beach County.   For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com

Just Bring Your Game