CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Shawnee Park Sports Complex will partner with the Barboursville Soccer Complex to host 2019 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships, as well as the 2019 and 2020 US Youth Soccer Eastern President’s Cup, state and local leaders announced.
Gov. Jim Justice participated in the announcement at the state Capitol. The announcement was led by Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango, one of the main advocates for transforming Shawnee Park into a sports complex.
“We’re really, really, really happy about this,” Justice said. “Good stuff happening in West Virginia. Makes us smile. Makes us happy.”
The 2019 Eastern Regional Championships, a part of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, will feature about 225 boys and girls teams in the 12U through 19U age groups. The 5-day event is projected to bring a $16-million-dollar impact to the Kanawha Valley.
The 2019 and 2020 Eastern Presidents Cup, which is part of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup competition, will feature about 100 boys and girls teams in the 12U through 18U age groups. The two events will provide an estimated $8 million economic impact in both 2018 and 2019.
Salango described designing the new Shawnee Park Sports Complex to be a premier youth sports facility capable of attracting such events.
“That is why I am so excited that we can partner with US Youth Soccer and Barboursville to host the Eastern Regionals and the President’s Cup. These tournaments will bring thousands of youth sport participants and their families to our great state and county,” Salango stated.
Speaking with reporters after the announcement, Salango said the region had bid against other communities from around the country to host the events.
“It’s very competitive,” Salango said. “A lot of the towns all over the United States want to host them.”
When local leaders found out Monday that they’d won the bid, they were surprised that they’d landed all three tournaments.
Shawnee, where groundbreaking occurred Dec. 28, remains under development. The $10.3 million park is expected to open by summer.
The complex will include six turf soccer and lacrosse fields, four baseball and softball fields and a new community building.
“It’s not even finished and it’s already developing significant tournaments and having an economic impact in the valley,” Salango said.