National D1 Soccer Tournament to Have Impact on Area
The NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) National D1 Men’s Soccer Championship is coming to Martinsville Nov. 16-21, 2015 and is expected to have a significant positive impact throughout the community and surrounding region.
Organizers unveiled the official tournament logo and event website (njcaasoccer.com) Friday, Dec. 5 during a press conference at the Smith River Sports Complex (SRSC), located at 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton, Va.
Patrick Henry Community College is partnering with the Martinsville –Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and SRSC, which is engineered just for tournaments like these, according to Billy Russo, director of operations.
“The SRSC is thrilled to play host to this national event,” Russo said. “It was built for events like this, and with the partnership of PHCC and the Martinsville-Henry County EDC’s Tourism Division, we look forward to putting on an unforgettable event. After all, the goal is to put on a fantastic event so we can continue to successfully bid on and host future NJCAA championships, partnering with PHCC and MHC Tourism in the future.”
Russo said he attended the 2014 event in Arizona last month and can’t wait to show off the sports complex and the community’s hospitality.
“In addition to the qualifying schools, there were dozens of four-year college coaches from all over the country in attendance to recruit, and with our close proximity to several institutions, we expect college coaches to flood our community for the event next year,” he said.
Bassett Furniture Industries will serve as lead sponsor for the tournament. Eddie White, vice president of human resources, said, “We’re a proud sponsor and excited about the opportunity to partner with Patrick Henry Community College on this national tournament that’s very important for our community. We at Bassett Furniture have had a presence in the community since 1902, and we’re a longtime supporter of local events.”
According to Christopher Parker, PHCC’s senior athletic administrator and Women’s Region X director, this is
the first time a NJCAA national tournament has ever been held in Virginia, and only the second time a national tournament has been held within Region X (Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina).
“This is such a unique and wonderful opportunity for PHCC and the community to host a national tournament,” Parker said. “We hope this is the start of great partnership with the NJCAA to host future national events and tournaments. We’re very excited to host a tournament of this caliber with the EDC and Smith River Sports Complex. Our area partnerships have been vital to bring this tournament to Virginia.”
To prepare for this event, Jennifer Doss, director of tourism for the EDC, said 120 hotel rooms have been reserved to accommodate the athletes.“These athletes are spread out among four local hotel properties, and lodging for them alone is anticipated to generate approximately $50,000 in revenue,” Doss said. “We anticipate many additional room nights to be booked by athletes that choose to arrive early, spectators to the event and college scouts.”
Doss added, “Over the course of the week, teams will enjoy dining in our area restaurants and consume nearly 6,000 meals. Spectators will enjoy shopping and visiting attractions between games, and all the visitors will see what our area has to offer. This is a fabulous opportunity for Martinsville-Henry County to roll out the welcome mats as our community is put on the national stage.”
For additional information on the tournament, visit njcaasoccer.com.