TC Tourism Commits $100K To TBAYS Soccer Fields Expansion
By Beth Milligan | Jan. 17, 2022
Traverse City Tourism announced a five-year, $100,000 commitment to Traverse Bay Area Youth Soccer (TBAYS) Monday to expand the local soccer fields on Keystone Road.
TBAYS is working to expand the facility by adding up to seven more soccer fields and creating easier driving access to the complex. “We’ve been working on this for a long time,” says TBAYS board member Chad Fournier. “This expansion will allow us to grow soccer in the area, get more local kids involved and keep the program affordable.”
The expansion is driven in part to support two major regional tournaments: the Cherry Capital Cup and Autumn Classic Soccer tournaments, which each attract around 200 teams and close to 10,000 players and fans. Fournier says those tournaments are the biggest fundraisers for TBAYS and help the sport grow and keep costs down.
“These tournaments bring people to Traverse City during slower times of the year, driving millions of dollars in economic activity to our region,” says Traverse City Tourism President Trevor Tkach. “Our investment in TBAYS will have a direct financial return for our community while providing local families with more accessibility to outdoor recreation.”
TBAYS recently secured a long-term lease on the Keystone property from Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation, an agreement that is partly contingent on development of the fields. Fournier says the sponsorship “is our first major contribution to our development goals. From here we will continue to raise money and make sure our vision for the future becomes reality.”
TBAYS, which began over three decades ago, provides soccer programs for ages four to 19. An estimated 2,000 players and 1,500 families are involved with the organization annually. Soccer has enjoyed steady growth both nationally and locally, providing a significant economic impact in the Traverse City area when tourmanents are in town.Comment