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Youth soccer championships coming in July

BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. — The U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships are coming to West Virginia.

The event will be held in Barboursville in both 2009 and 2010.

About 272 soccer teams representing 15 state associations from 13 states will compete against each other during the six-day event that runs July 2 to July 7.

Among the states represented are Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Approximately 5,000 players, ages 12 to 19, will compete in the event with an estimated 16,000 parents, coaches and referees to join them.

This is the first of a two-year agreement for hosting the tournament. All available hotel rooms that met the standards have been booked for the players and families from Ashland to Charleston as well as Grayson, Ky. and Portsmouth. The economic impact of this event is expected to top $12 million.

The Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau fully supports this event and encourages all area businesses and communities to be ready and ‘Put Your Best Foot Forward’.

“We just want folks to understand the enormity of this event and the number of people that will be here,” said Tyson Compton, CVB President. “Barboursville has made an amazing commitment to the tournament with their field development and a huge number of people on the local committee have been working tirelessly for months to make this event top-notch.

“Our staff plans to do everything possible to support Barboursville and the Championships and we hope everyone in the connected towns will do the same.”

Each team will play only one game each day on July 3, 4, and 5. “That means they will be out in the community before or after their games,” Compton said. “And we want to make sure that we connect them with all of the great things there are to see and do while they’re here.”

Compton encourages anyone who has a restaurant, retail business, attraction, or event that will be open in Cabell County during this time to contact the CVB via email so that they can be listed on the CVB website.

“I especially encourage restaurants to be ready” Compton emphasized. “One thing that all of these folks will be doing a lot of is eating out. With this being the July 4 holiday, restaurants in the area will want to have an ample supply of stock on hand.” Retailers should also expect to see these visitors in their shops.

“We’re also asking community members to show their wonderful Southern hospitality,” Compton added. “Tell these folks hello, let them know how glad you are to see them. Offer them information or directions if they need them.”

Traffic could possibly be an issue as well, so the immediate community should take note of game schedules and events.

For example, on Thursday, July 2, there will be an Opening Ceremony at Marshall University with all attendees present.

The local community is invited to attend this ceremony as well, which will be quite spectacular.

Compton suggests that citizens monitor updates on the local website for the tournament at www.westvirginia2009.com as well as the CVB site at www.wvvisit.org.

For additional information or advertising opportunities on www.westvirginia2009.com, please contact Marcus Cole, Director of Marketing and Communications for the WV Soccer Association, at 304-932-4646 or via email at marcus@wvsoccer.net .

Anyone interested in serving as a Hospitality Volunteer should contact Craig Warner at 304-525-7333 and all other Volunteer positions should contact Kheng Yap-McGuire at 304-525-6042.