COMMUNITY NEWS

Labor Day Soccer Tournament expected to bring in big crowds, dollars at Lakewood Ranch

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Lakewood Ranch

Sarasota, Florida

Read More About Lakewood Ranch

Sarasota, FL (Aug. 24, 2012) - The Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch will host more than 300 teams from all over the state of Florida on Labor Day weekend – Sept. 1 - 3 – for one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

The Chargers will host the 2012 Labor Day Showcase for age groups including boys and girls U9-U10, U11-U12 and U13-U18. Several competing teams are from Sarasota and Manatee counties. This event is free and open to the public; parking is also free.

“The Premier Sports Campus continues to offer us so many opportunities,” said Rob O’Nan, president of the Clearwater and Lakewood Ranch Chargers, the host soccer tenant at the campus. “Because of the number of teams we schedule, we could not have done this event anywhere else; the fields and the location are perfect.”
Games are scheduled to start from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday. Sponsors include Publix, Dicks sporting goods, the Florida Spine Institute, the Ranch Grill, Nike, Bogey’s, and Bayfront Medical Center.

Since last year’s tournament, eight of the fields have been lighted. “The campus has just taken off,” said Tim Mulqueen, director of sports for Lakewood Ranch, “and the lights make us very unique in that we are the ONLY local facility that is privately owned that has playing fields with lights.”

Tens of thousands of athletes and fans are expected over the three-day period. Because of its sheer size and capacity, the PSC’s economic impact is enormous. Last year’s event brought more than $8 million to the area. Local businesses, including Publix, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, reported robust sales – some sold out of various items. This year, The Ranch Grill is open and its proximity to the fields will benefit both the restaurant and tournament goers.

The regional impact of the tournament benefits hotels, retailers, restaurants, and other entertainment venues, according to Rex Jensen, president and CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the parent company of PSC. “The Sports Campus has placed Lakewood Ranch at the epicenter of field sports activity in the region … and the state. This is what economic development is all about.”

About The Premier Sports Campus
The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch is a multi-purpose facility that is home to 22 full-sized, mixed-use fields for soccer, lacrosse and other amateur sports, and features Celebration grass and underground irrigation. In 2011, the economic impact to the region totaled more than $30 million from events and tournaments at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch. With more than 30 events already scheduled for 2012, the economic impact is projected to be more than $70 million this year. The complex is used for amateur and professional top-flight and world-class sporting tournaments, events, camps and clinics and is located in Lakewood Ranch – the 8,500-acre, award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida.

About Lee Wetherington Homes
With more than 30 years of home building experience and community engagement, Lee Wetherington homes has built more than 2,500 homes in the most prestigious and sought after communities in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Lee Wetherington Homes and LeeSure Water Pools have been recognized with both local and national awards from industry peers and homeowners alike, including Best Builder from the readers of The Sarasota Herald Tribune for eight consecutive years and America's Best Builder from the National Association of Home Builders and Builder Magazine.

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