The Development Player League (DPL), an Elite National All-Girls League, will return to The Palm Beaches from January 5-8, 2023. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with Elite Tournaments to bring DPL FL23, the U15-U19 Winter Showcase, to the Gardens North County District Park in Palm Beach Gardens. Thousands of athletes, coaches, and spectators will travel to participate in this premier soccer event.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s successful bid to host this event will bring a national DPL event to The Palm Beaches for the second year in a row. The DPL is a leading organization for girls’ soccer, which focuses on creating a high level of competition, meaningful games, greater exposure in college showcases, and professional game day environments. The DPL is sanctioned nationwide by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), a multisport organization with over 4,000,000 members in a variety of sports.
“The warm welcome received by the DPL in Palm Beach this past January has lived on in memory and was a critical factor in our decision to return. From the family environment at the facilities and the quality of the grass fields to the care and attention to detail in our hosting of the event by the city and community, it was evident that this is a premium destination and one that we can’t wait to return to. There are several reasons why our league chooses a venue and each of those were surpassed in Palm Beach,” said Barry Ritson, President of the DPL.
The return of the DPL Winter Showcase comes after a successful first trip to Palm Beach Gardens in January 2022, and the partnership that has formed between the DPL, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, and Elite Tournaments.
Elite Tournaments is the exclusive tournament provider to the DPL and the management company behind the logistical operations of the DPL event series held annually across the U.S. Very few communities have the privilege to host events, such as a DPL Winter Showcase, which transforms destinations into soccer hubs. The first DPL event in Palm Beach County consisted of 240 girls soccer teams competing in age divisions that ranged from U13-U19. Over 4,300 athletes and more than 10,000 total visitors participated, making it one of the largest girls’ soccer showcases in the United States.
Considering the influx of visitors that will be traveling from across the nation for DPLFL23, the tourism effects are expected to be significant. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission predicts the event will create over 8,000 hotel room nights and nearly $7 million in direct visitor spending. Hotels throughout Palm Beach County will yet again benefit from this national event.
“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is honored and excited to have the Development Player League returning to The Palm Beaches,” says George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. “The influx of new dollars and increase in hotel occupancy generated from this DPL showcase will be welcome by our hospitality community. There are very few opportunities to host a single sporting event that will create a positive economic boom countywide and this is certainly one of those opportunities.”
The Gardens North County District Park opened in June 2019 and sits on 82 acres of land in the City of Palm Beach Gardens. The $13.7 million project, funded through the one-cent sales tax program, broke ground in early 2018. Phase I has been completed and is currently open to the public. The area can be accessed from PGA Blvd or Central Blvd, through Shady Lakes Drive, and is adjacent to the City’s Tennis Center and Joseph R. Russo Athletic Complex. The Gardens North County District Park is equipped with seven lighted multipurpose fields.
For more on the DPL and its 2022/2023 season, please click here.