Officials: Presidents Day sports tournaments to attract 30,000 visitors, $15M in economic impact

ST. GEORGE — The blue skies and sunshine of the St. George area draw crowds from northern Utah and other areas looking to escape the harsh winter months and enjoy everything that the area has to offer under the sun. Presidents Day weekend kicks off the 2019 season for sporting events with three major tournaments.

Over 30,000 visitors are expected to flock to the area and bask in the Southern Utah sunshine while supporting their friends and family that are competing for the coveted title, reads a press release issued by the Sorenson Company on behalf of the St. George Sports Commission. Nearly every available grass venue in the area will be hosting dozens of teams looking to make their mark among the blue skies and red rocks that surround them.

“Presidents’ Day weekend hosts some of the largest events we see all year,” Kevin Lewis, director of the Washington County Office of Tourism, said in the press release. “Three major tournaments will be in town that draw over 10,000 participants, bringing friends and family to support them. It makes for an exciting launch to the 2019 season.”

The weekend starts off with the Rage Invitational youth soccer tournament including over 250 teams and 4,000 players from all over the region. Each team will be battling on the soccer fields of Ivins, Santa Clara, St. George and Washington throughout the weekend.

The Ice Breaker Soccer Tournament is also held this weekend with 248 teams and over 4,000 total participants. Between the two soccer tournaments, over 8,000 participants, 500 teams and 25,000 visitors are expected.

50 high school teams from around the state will also join in the fun competing for the title in the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball. Within the participating high schools, 125 competitive teams are expected to dust off the cleats and step up to the plate for the chance to test their skills early in the year. In total, there are more than 2,000 players, coaches and umpires.

“President’s Day is here and that means spring baseball is just around the corner,” said Rhett Udy of the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball. “This tournament is very important to each team giving each player the chance to compete with 50 other high school teams.”

“This weekend brings the largest economic impact of any single weekend of the year,” Lewis said. “With the far majority of visitors coming from out of the area, the tournaments bring local business a significant amount of traffic from our hotels to restaurants

The sports commission estimates the economic impact of these three tournaments to be over $15 million.

St. George has long been known as a premier tourism destination and the Presidents Day activities are a testament of how attractive the area is for sporting events and other recreational activities.

In addition to the sporting events, the St. George Area Parade of Homes also opens on Friday, Feb. 15, bringing in an additional 30,000 visitors to the area over a 10-day period.

“2019 is going to be an exciting year with a lot of premier sporting events coming to the area,” Lewis said. “The large crowds expected over President’s day weekend are a testament to the all that the St. George area has to offer.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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