CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — Before the first soccer ball has been kicked there, the Shawnee multi-sport complex has landed several major youth sporting events.
The Kanawha County Commission announced in a news release Friday that the complex, already under construction, will partner with the Barboursville Soccer Complex to host the 2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships and the 2019 and 2020 US Youth Soccer Eastern President’s Cup.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice was joining county, city and community leaders to announce the news. A video of the news conference can be viewed below:
The 2019 Eastern Regional Championships, a part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, will feature about 225 boys and girls teams in the 12 and under through 19 and under age groups. Officials said the five-day event is projected to bring a $16-million impact to the Kanawha Valley.
The 2019 and 2020 Eastern Presidents Cup, which is part of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup competition, will feature about 100 boys and girls teams in the 12 and under through 18 and under age groups. These two events will provide an $8 million economic impact in both 2018 and 2019, officials said.
“We designed the new Shawnee Park Sports Complex to be the premier youth sports facility in West Virginia, one capable of attracting the very best -- that is why I am so excited that we can partner with U.S. Youth Soccer and Barboursville to host the Eastern Regionals and the President’s Cup,” Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said in the news release.
Salango said the tournaments will bring thousands of youth sport participants and their families to the county and state. The commissioner said it will not only showcase Shawnee Park and the Kanawha Valley, the tournaments will “provide a boost to our local economy to the tune of $32 million in new spending. That is significant for hotels, restaurants, and all local businesses.”
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the announcement proves the Shawnee Park Sports Complex has been tremendous investment in the community and county.
Commissioner Hoppy Shores called it a great day and said he is excited that “thousands of children will soon be able to play on the brand-new turf fields at Shawnee Park.”
For 2019 alone, the Shawnee Sports Complex anticipates the Eastern Regional and President’s Cup will provide an economic impact in the Kanawha Valley of $23 million
Shawnee Park plans to host a minimum of eight to 10 additional tournaments in 2019 in various sports, including soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and football.