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Women's Sunbelt soccer and ASA soccer bring thousands to OWA in Foley

(WPMI) Women's Sunbelt soccer and ASA soccer bring thousands to OWA in Foley

Hundreds of athletes and their families have converged on the Foley area this week. First teams with the Women's Sunbelt Conference and this weekend teams with the Alabama Soccer Association.

This marks the first sports tourism event since the OWA Amusement Park opened in the area.

This is the first big test. Even though the Amusement Park is still in its infant stage by all accounts all seems to be working as planned. All the hotels in the Foley area are full to capacity all week long.

From the bleachers all eyes are on the University of South Alabama's Jaguars. The women's team seeking its 5th consecutive Sunbelt championship. Seven other teams here to compete brought the crowd - spectators, family members that account for the "heads in beds."

"We recruit the tournaments here as a partner with the city of Foley and offer all of our amenities here at OWA. Once we go through that process we work closely with the city's Sports Tourism to put packages together, hotel packages, park packages and dining packages," said Kristin Hellmich with OWA.

Those promotional packages are bringing in the business. Traffic that will eat and spend money at the Amusements park's newest restaurants "The Groovy Goat" and "Whalburgers. "

Bringing teams from all over the country and landing long term contracts with sports teams is what fuels the sports tourism concept.This week's games will also get national television exposure on ESPN.

"Sports is a very small world so people talk and that'll bring us more and more coverage. More events and more economic impact,"said Stephanie Donald with the City Of Foley.

For example the Sunbelt Conference is extending its commitment to bringing the games here.

"When we signed on there was a lot of red dirt and dust and there wasn't even a field here so we did a two year deal with another option of two

and we've already extended that," said Dominick Giambrone with the Sunbelt Conference.

Eight teams with the Sunbelt Conference and 100 teams with the ASA this weekend are expected to generate more than half a million dollars in economic impact the to Foley area this week.

Hundreds of athletes and their families have converged on the Foley area this week. First teams with the Women's Sunbelt Conference and this weekend teams with the Alabama Soccer Association.

This marks one of the first sports tourism event since the OWA Amusement Park opened in the area.

Even though the Amusement Park is still in its infant stage, by all accounts all seems to be working as planned. All the hotels in the Foley area are full to capacity all week long.

From the bleachers all eyes are on the University of South Alabama's Jaguars. The women's team seeking its 5th consecutive Sunbelt championship. Seven other teams here to compete brought the crowd - spectators, family members that account for the "heads in beds."

"We recruit the tournaments here as a partner with the city of Foley and offer all of our amenities here at OWA. Once we go through that process we work closely with the city's Sports Tourism to put packages together, hotel packages, park packages and dining packages," said Kristin Hellmich with OWA.

Those promotional packages are bringing in the business. Traffic that will eat and spend money at the Amusements park's newest restaurants "The Groovy Goat" and "Whalburgers. "

Bringing teams from all over the country and landing long term contracts with sports teams is what fuels the sports tourism concept.This week's games will also get national television exposure on ESPN.

"Sports is a very small world so people talk and that'll bring us more and more coverage. More events and more economic impact,"said Stephanie Donald with the City Of Foley.

For example the Sunbelt Conference is extending its commitment to bringing the games here.

"When we signed on there was a lot of red dirt and dust and there wasn't even a field here so we did a two year deal with another option of two and we've already extended that," said Dominick Giambrone with the Sunbelt Conference.

Eight teams with the Sunbelt Conference and 100 teams with the ASA this weekend are expected to generate more than half a million dollars in economic impact the to Foley area this week.


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