Major soccer tournament in limbo following Phoenix City Council vote
PHOENIX – The Surf Cup Tournament scheduled to take place in Phoenix from late December to early January is in limbo following a Phoenix City Council vote that shut down city-owned sport facilities in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Brian Enge, CEO of Surf Cup Sports, described the decision as “disappointing.”
“We know how badly kids want this event to happen, we know how badly college-aged kids who have been on hold in their recruiting process now for 10 months want this to happen, we’ve seen that in the fact we have record number of applications this year,” Enge said.
Over 1,200 teams applied and approximately six to seven hundred teams, mostly out of state, were expected to participate. The number of participants may change depending on where the tournament now takes place.
The tournament was planned to be hosted at the city’s Reach 11 Sports Complex which has 18 soccer fields. Following a Wednesday vote from the Phoenix City Council, tournaments won’t happen until the spread of coronavirus returns to a moderate range in the city.
In regard to coronavirus concerns, Enge said the city council was misled.
“We now have 6 months of experience of dealing with this in youth sports and the people on your city council do not,” Enge said.
Precautions to limit COVID exposure like limiting the number of spectators and participants were planned in addition to the usage of masks.
The decision also carries an economic impact. According to Enge, the city will lose out on $25 million dollars between hotels and restaurants.
Following the city’s vote, several hotels across the state reached out and offered help to find a new location in efforts to keep the tournament in the state.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be hosted in San Diego but was relocated to Phoenix due to coronavirus restrictions in California.