The Maryland SoccerPlex and Discovery Sports Center was named the best soccer facility in the United States by a poll of experts conducted by Connect Sports Magazine. The honor is just the latest the Maryland SoccerPlex and Discovery Sports Center has received over the years.
“Under Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger, this facility in Germantown, has established as one of the premier sites in the Mid-Atlantic region,” wrote Connect Sports. “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.”
“I personally want to thank our exceptional staff for all of their effort and dedication. What they do daily is what led to today’s announcement of our facility being named the best in the country,” said Maryland SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger. “For the athletes, coaches and families who come here to compete they may not realize how passionate we are about making this the safest and best facility we can. We want everyone to have the best possible experience when they are here and this recognition proves we are accomplishing our goals.”
Here is the final ranking by Connect Sport:
• Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown.
• Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City.
• Bryan Multi-Sports Complex in Goldsboro, NC.
• MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas.
• Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park, Ill.
• Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver.
• Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis.
• Burbank Soccer Complex in Baton Rouge, La.
• Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Tx.
“Connect Sports was beyond thrilled to recognize Trish Heffelfinger and the Maryland SoccerPlex,” said Matt Swenson of Connect Sports. “Some of the country's best soccer facilities were nominated by elite event professionals. There is no doubt the complex belongs right at the top of that list. This process just made it official.”
The experts considered many things with the Maryland SoccerPlex but the condition of the 21 natural grass fields, and 3 state-of-the-art synthetic fields was certainly a major fact. Other things voters took into consideration were the quality of the 15 tournaments held each year, the overall attendance of over 650,000 people a year and the annual $25 million dollar a year impact the facility has on the region.
The Maryland SoccerPlex has been recognized quite a bit over the years for excellence. In 2014, it earned "Field of the Year Award" honors from the Sports Turf Managers Association, the professional association of 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide.
It was given specifically for the superb quality of the playing surface at Maureen Hendricks Field, the SoccerPlex's showcase stadium. In 2015, The Maryland SoccerPlex and Discovery Center was named Hospitality Small Business of the year by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. In 2015, it finished second out of 30 facilities in the SportsEvents “ULTIMATE Soccer and Lacrosse Destinations & Venues” run by SportsEvents Magazine.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.