Sure it’s great that the kids have the amazing Maryland SoccerPlex to play local SAM or travel soccer games on weekends, but the ‘Plex has been a boon to the local Germantown and greater Montgomery County area this year.
The Maryland SoccerPlex has added over $30 million to the local economy in 2014, thanks in large part to hosting the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in July and the success of the Washington Spirit women’s professional soccer team, according to a release from the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The $30 million figure is the result of combining the results of a 2012 economic impact study of the SoccerPlex, done by the Conference and Visitor's Bureau of Montgomery County. The study concluded the ‘Plex’s 12 top youth sports tournaments bring in about $25 million annually. When that $25 million is combined with the $4.5 million of estimated revenue produced by hosting the U.S. National Soccer Championships this year, and the estimated $700,000 produced by the Washington Spirit home games, the result is $30.2 million added to the local economy.
In July 2014, the SoccerPlex hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, a six-day event widely regarded as the pinnacle of American travel soccer featuring 96 of the top teams from around the country.
The Conference and Visitor's Bureau and the SoccerPlex partnered on an economic study of the event, which concluded $4-5 million in value. This included 8,000 hotel room nights and almost a week's worth of living and transportation expenses for the participants.
On top of the multi-million dollar impact, the SoccerPlex and in turn Montgomery County expect the successful U.S. Youth Nationals showing to lead to more high-profile hosting opportunities.
"The college coaches and tournament directors who attended Nationals will start considering the SoccerPlex for their events, which will bring even more economic development to Montgomery County," said SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger
The SoccerPlex's championship stadium, recently named Maureen Hendricks Field, became the permanent home of the Washington Spirit, a National Women's Soccer League franchise, when the upstart league began play in the Spring of 2013.
Washington recently completed its second year in the NWSL, and has drawn an average of 3,800 fans through 23 regular season home matches since moving into the SoccerPlex.
With all of the top names in women's soccer such as Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Sidney LeRoux, Megan Rapinoe and others regularly appearing as visiting players, along with the Spirit's own United States stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, and Canadian legend Diana Mattheson, the team has brought nearly 90,000 total fans to the SoccerPlex in its first two seasons.
In total, the Washington Spirit provide an estimated $700,000 in annual economic impact, which includes: team expenses and game day operations, concessions, merchandise sales, travel and lodging expenses for visiting teams and out-of-town guests, and local spending by fans, teams and staff, outside vendors, media and others.
Other factors not included in the overall total are the intangible impact of having a professional team call the SoccerPlex home and the advertising reach for the NWSL.