SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Collegiate Soccer Championship (www.wcsc.soccer), an event that matched the best collegiate teams in the United States with the best collegiate teams from abroad for nine straight years, will return to the U.S. soccer calendar in 2018. San Antonio Sports led the successful bid, securing the championship for a five-year term. The championship will feature teams from eight countries as well as provide an estimated annual economic impact of more than $13 million.
Official announcement of the event took place today at a press conference featuring Clayton Perry, San Antonio city councilman; Hank Steinbrecher, former secretary general of U.S. Soccer; Bob Azar, founder and current director of the championship; and Russ Bookbinder, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports.
The World Collegiate Soccer Championship will debut in March of 2018 at two San Antonio venues: Comalander Stadium and Heroes Stadium. It will include the World Pre-collegiate Soccer Championship Showcase (youth) tournament that is expected to draw more than 300 teams and the World Collegiate Club Championship Showcase, expected to attract approximately 40 teams.
Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Japan and Mexico have confirmed their participation. Letters of invitation have also been extended to Canada, the NAIA and NCAA.
A study conducted by Steve Nivin with Steven R. Nivin Economic Research & Consulting has indicated that the event, with maximum youth participation, is projected to generate $13.5 million annually in economic impact for the greater San Antonio area.
"Hosting the World Collegiate Soccer Championships is an exciting opportunity for San Antonio, especially in 2018 when our city will celebrate its Tricentennial and the World Cup will be played," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. "Our city's international flavor and affection for soccer make it a good fit. Congratulations to San Antonio Sports for its successful efforts to bring the championships here."
Russ Bookbinder, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports said: "We look forward to welcoming teams to San Antonio from around the world and around the country. San Antonio is passionate about soccer. As soccer's popularity in the U.S. continues to grow, with three million youth playing in soccer leagues, San Antonio's outstanding facilities, culture and wide range of activities for families make it the perfect location to host the World Collegiate Soccer Championship events."
Hank Steinbrecher, who led soccer's national governing body for nine years and was a key figure in the staging of both the 1994 World Cup and the 1999 Women's World Cup in the USA, is on the leadership team for the revived event.
"With 2018 being a World Cup year and the sporting world focusing on international soccer, it's particularly appropriate that a world championship event featuring college teams take place," said Steinbrecher. "It is an event with unlimited potential, and today we're even more energized by our partnership with San Antonio Sports."
Mary Ullmann Japhet, San Antonio Sports
John Polis, World Collegiate Soccer
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SOURCE World Collegiate Soccer Championship