Around 3,500 people are expected for a soccer tournament beginning next week in Hendricks County. The Westside United Invitational includes teams from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.
July 31, 2013
Danville, Ind. — An event that entices thousands of visitors to Hendricks County and adds countless dollars to the local economy will return to Plainfield for a third year.
Organizers of the third annual Westside United Invitational soccer tournament have confirmed that more than 80 youth teams from across Indiana and neighboring states such as Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio will compete Aug. 9-11 at the Al & Jan Barker Sports Complex in Plainfield.
“We've had a great response from the families who have visited here in the past for this tournament,” said Diane Blacha, Westside United Tournament committee member. “I have been a soccer mom for 20 years and traveled everywhere around the Midwest, and the great thing about Hendricks County is everything is right here – parks, mall, restaurants, a first-class sports complex, hotels and more.”
Event organizers estimate about 3,500 people will arrive for the weekend including families of all the players, who will range from age 8 to 14. As an added bonus, Westside United will rent out Splash Island Family Waterpark for two to three hours for those families on Saturday, Aug. 10 to give them something fun to do while showcasing another Hendricks County attraction.
That kind of added benefit led to the Westside United Invitational being voted Tournament of the Year for 2011 by Indiana Soccer.
Proceeds from the event benefit Westside United, which provides organized soccer leagues for hundreds of Central Indiana children ages 8 to 18.
The local economic impact of this tournament from visitors staying in six Hendricks County hotels, eating at local restaurants, shopping at local stores and more, just adds to the tournament’s significance.
According to Visit Hendricks County Director of Sales Becky Harris, this tournament just scratches the surface of the sports events market that is building in Hendricks County. As a result, Visit Hendricks County has begun an initiative to learn more about this tourism opportunity and market its services to local event organizers.
Visit Hendricks County over the past few years has helped Westside United Invitational organizers secure lodging, offer welcome bags and other visitor information, provide vendor contacts, promote the event and much more.
“Westside United is a good example of what we can offer local organizations,” Harris said. “We are a free resource and can even help put a bid package together to help land a tournament or other event.”
Source: Visit Hendricks County