The Chicago-based U.S. Soccer Development Academy, billed as the nation’s leading soccer program for elite youth soccer players, announced that it will host its signature summer event in the San Diego region beginning in 2018, as part of a multi-year agreement with venue operators.
Officials said the three-year agreement, with the option for more years to be added later, involves U.S. Soccer, the city of San Diego, the San Diego Sports Alliance, the San Diego Tourism Marketing District, and venue operator Surf Cup Sports. The agreement calls for the marketing district to provide a $500,000 grant toward event costs, similar to arrangements made for other sports-related events in the region.
Organizers said this is the first time the academy has signed a consecutive multi-year agreement with any host city for its Summer Showcase and Playoffs event.
Games will take place at Surf Cup Sports Park in Del Mar, formerly known as San Diego Polo Fields, and SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside. The 2018 event is slated to run June 18 to July 1, and will include 470 teams in various age groups from around the nation, playing in tournament-style competitions.
The agreement was announced by the academy, Surf Cup Sports, the San Diego Tourism Authority and San Diego Sports Alliance, during a news conference July 28 in Del Mar.
In a statement, officials said the academy’s summer showcase and playoffs have previously drawn tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors to the San Diego region. The events are projected to have a $43 million economic impact for the city of San Diego, and another $20 million for the larger region.
More than 32,000 out-of-state visitors are expected to attend the 11th annual showcase in 2018, booking an estimated 23,322 hotel room nights.
Locally based Surf Cup Sports signed a 28-year lease with the city of San Diego in 2016 to manage the 114-acre tournament facility in Del Mar. It also manages the 104-acre facility in Oceanside.