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Economy Forces Events to Find Stability

Michigan Tournament Sees Drop in Numbers; Looks Toward Regional

August 17, 2009

The annual Saginaw 7-Eleven Classic in Michigan serves as another piece of evidence that the economy is hurting the soccer tournament scene.

Seventy teams played in this year’s event, held this past weekend, compared to 88 in 2008, tournament director Jack Burd told the Saginaw News.

Burd knows Saginaw isn’t the only tournament to see a drop. In fact, he told the News that he’s seen tournaments lose as much as 70 percent of their numbers this year.

"It's been that way across the state pretty much," Burd told the paper.

According to the Saginaw News, the Saginaw Township Soccer Association is looking toward a regional tournament of the United States Youth Soccer Association's National Tournament in 2012 as a saving grace.

Actually, according to the paper, Saginaw moved the 7-Eleven Tournament from June to August this year to accommodate a future US youth regional, which always plays in June.

The main drawing point of the US regional would be the consistent number of teams, 225 for a minimum 6-night stay, according to the News.

That would translate to a $10 million bump in the local economy in the span of a week, Burd told the paper. He also said that the organization is working hard to add six fields to their 15-field complex in order to meet the 20-field minimum required to host a regional.

"It's like bidding for an Olympics," Burd told the Saginaw News. "It's going to be more comfortable for us. From a scheduling standpoint it's obviously easier."

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