HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – Saturday kicks off a huge money-maker for the region.
The Warrior Classic brings thousands of soccer enthusiasts to the Miami Valley. This is the 29th year the tournament is coming to Huber Heights.
It started off as a small, local competition; it’s since branched out to gain corporate sponsors and major attention.
And once again it’s bringing big dollars to the Miami Valley.
More than 25,000 people will head into town.
2 NEWS spoke with the tournament’s Director Carol Maass, And we asked did she think the tournament would ever get so big.
“Not 29 years ago, although we did start off– we thought we’d get 60, 70 teams and we ended up with 160 the first year,”Maass admit. “And so good news travels and we try to accommodate everybody and that’s why were here and I think obviously we’ve done that and people want to come back.”
It’s expanded beyond what most expected, often with more than 500 teams competing.
And those games help bring in $9.5 million, according to several reports.
Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau says the tournament draws in big bucks because at least 25,000 people need a place to eat and sleep.
And Dayton officials expect the dollars to kick in across the region.
They say as the tournament gets bigger, it’s not just good for the local economy, it’s also good for the regional image.
“We feel like Dayton is a soccer mecca for tournaments.” said Beverly Rose with the bureau. “Really a great reputation for our community as an ideal destination to host soccer tournaments and we really got a name out there for ourselves so it’s good news for Dayton.”
Officials expect to again at least $9.5 million dollars in revenue from this weekend.
Tournament officials encourage you and your family and friends to head down to Huber Heights and enjoy the games, but most importantly, spend your dollars.