The best soccer facility in America is surely a subject many event planners kick around each year. Our recent poll asking for opinion from experts in the field—that being you—proves there will never be a consensus. The good news is that if the grass is looking greener elsewhere, there are plenty of options for great spaces to host tournaments.
Under Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger, this facility in Germantown, Maryland, has established as one of the premier sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. Home of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, the 24-field complex serves more than 15 major soccer tournaments for year, drawing 650,000 visitors per year and has nearly $25 million in economic impact annually. Heffelfinger will step aside later this year, but the SoccerPlex should be in fine shape for years to come.
Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex
In two years, the RAC, as it is know, has lived up to the dreams when the project was first conceived of 15 years ago. “We have hosted dozens of high level events,” notes Clay Partain, director of sports market sales at Visit Salt Lake. With 16 fields, six of which have lights for evening play, the multi-purpose facility is at the heart of Salt Lake City proving it is just as much a summer destination as a winter one (except when it hosts the Olympics).
Bryan Multi-Sports Complex
This welcomed addition to Goldsboro, North Carolina, debuted in April 23, 2018. Three days later, it hosted its first event: the NCYSA Kepner Presidents Cup. The two-day soccer tournament spurred the excitement of other sports organizations, leading to additional bookings at the eight-field complex. The atmosphere sets this facility in a military community apart. “No where else in the world where a site has a static display of a F-4 Phantom greeting its athletes and spectators upon arrival,” says Ashlin Glatthar, director of travel and tourism at Visit Goldsboro.
MoneyGram Soccer Park
The facility is certainly worth the investment Dallas put into it. The 120-acre, 19 field soccer complex at Elm Fork is owned by the City of Dallas and operated by FC Dallas. Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, notes the venue hosts various events on both the local and national levels, including the prestigious Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, the Next Generation Cup, North Texas State Soccer Association ODP and the Sport Source Showcase. It has also hosted the Mexican National Team for training and was awarded the 2017 Field of the Year by Sports Turf Magazine.
Mercyhealth Sportscore Two
This 180-acre facility in Loves Park, Illinois, is a darling of Nick Povalitis, director of sports development at Go Rockford. Mercyhealth Sportscore Two has 26 outdoor soccer fields among its many offerings, which includes a 193,000 sq.-ft. indoor sports center for games and training. Povalitis describes it as a top tourist destination in Winnebago County, averaging nearly 3 million visitors for its 60-plus events held annually.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Home of the Colorado Rapids, the soccer-specific venue in Denver handles all kinds of sports on its 24 synthetic and turf fields. The 22 natural grass fields are available April through late October while the two turf sites are for year-round use. Matthew Payne, executive director of the Denver Sports Commission, notes the 5,000 parking spaces make it as convenient a location for tournaments as there is in this country. It’s also available for corporate events and training.
Mike Rose Soccer Complex
Memphis is home of the blues, but green is the color of choice at this 136-acre site sporting 16 fields. Top-of-the-line drainage ensures minimal game will be lost should a rainstorm arise. A 2,500-seat stadium is available for championship matches.
Burbank Soccer Complex
Baton Rouge will be inundated with young athletes next year when the Cajun capital hosts the 2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships next June. The event is estimated to bring in 12,000 attendees and have a $15 million to $20 million economic impact. The numbers won’t be difficult to manage, given the facility has 22 field, making it ideals to host 200 boys and girls teams, ages 13U through 19U.
Veterans Park and Athletic Complex
This facility in College Station, Texas, has 11 multi-purpose athletic fields (two synthetic and nine natural grass) with more on the way. The 150-acre site includes a 550-seat pavilion and more than 2,000 parking spaces.