The Premier Sports Campus (PSC) in Lakewood Ranch will host close to 300 teams from all over the state of Florida on Labor Day weekend – Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 2 – for one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The Chargers will host the 2013 Labor Day Showcase for the U11 through U18 age groups for both boys and girls. Several competing teams are from Sarasota and Manatee counties. This event is free and open to the public; parking is also free.
Games are scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Monday. Sponsors include Nike, Publix, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Main Street Lakewood Ranch.
The PSC’s 22 fields offer a convenient arrangement for the hundreds of attending teams and fans.
“Families with multiple siblings playing in the tournament have the opportunity to attend all the games without having to worry about driving from one location to the next,” said Antonio Saviano, director of the PSC. “Not many facilities can offer this type of opportunity to play so many games at one location.”
Tens of thousands of athletes, coaches, parents and other fans are expected over the three-day period; 90 percent of the teams are coming from outside the area. Because of its sheer size and capacity, the PSC’s economic impact is enormous. The 2011 tournament brought more than $8 million to the Lakewood Ranch area. The number grew to more than $12 million in 2012. This year’s tournament is expected to top both.
For the first time, the team check-in will held at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, bringing 800-1,000 coaches, parents and players. There will be a free raffle for participants with a chance to win $1,000-worth of soccer gear.
The regional economic impact of the tournament benefits hotels, retailers, restaurants, and other entertainment venues, but also gives attendees a window on the lifestyle the Ranch has to offer.
“Hosting a big youth soccer tournament such as the Chargers Showcase Labor Day Tournament provides Lakewood Ranch with a unique opportunity to not only showcase itself as a destination for families, but also as the home of one of the best sports facilities in the nation: the Premier Sports Campus,” Saviano said.
The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch is a multi-purpose facility that is home to 22 full-sized, mixed-use fields for soccer, lacrosse and other amateur sports, and features Celebration grass and underground irrigation. The complex is used for amateur and professional top-flight and world-class sporting tournaments, events, camps and clinics and is located in Lakewood Ranch – the 17,500-acre, award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. www.lakewoodranch.com.