The Development Player League (DPL) Winter Showcase delivered over 8,000 hotel room nights and $6.4 million in visitor spending for Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission partnered with Elite Tournaments to bring this event to the Gardens North County District Park and Joseph R. Russo Athletic Complex in Palm Beach Gardens and Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach from January 6-9, 2022.
The Development Player League (DPL) made its Palm Beach County debut by fielding over 250 girls’ soccer teams competing in age divisions that range from 13U to 19U. Over 4,500 athletes and more than 11,000 total visitors attended, making this one of the largest girls’ soccer showcases in the United States. The Palm Beaches is just one of three destinations to host a DPL national showcase in 2022.
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 league consists of nearly 90 soccer clubs totaling over 500 teams throughout the United States. The DPL is sanctioned nationwide by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). USSSA is a multisport organization with over 4,000,000 members in a variety of sports.
The DPL Winter Showcase marked the second national youth soccer event to play in The Palm Beaches during this fall and winter. During Thanksgiving weekend, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission brought the 3V3 Live National Soccer Tour and its grandest stage to The Palm Beaches. The 3V3 Live National Championships also took place at the Gardens North County District Park. The 3V3 Live National Championships featured 280 teams from across the nation, consisting of over 1,500 athletes and nearly 4,500 total visitors. The participating teams contended for titles in boy’s and girl’s divisions, featuring a variety of age groups (High School, Middle School, Elementary, and Adult). The 3V3 Live National Championship created over 2,500 hotel room nights and $2 million of direct visitor spending within Palm Beach County.
“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has been privileged to host two of the nation’s predominant soccer events over a five-week span,” said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. “Very few communities have the privilege to host events such as the Development Player League (DPL) Winter Showcase and the 3v3 Live National Championships, which combined to deliver over 530 teams from across the United States. The rise in hotel occupancy and economic impact will be welcomed by Palm Beach County’s hospitality industry. In total, the DPL Winter Showcase and 3v3 Live National Championships filled just over 10,500 room nights for Palm Beach County hotels. Soccer continues to be a driving force for sports tourism in The Palm Beaches.”
The host sites for this national showcase represented two of Palm Beach County’s finest facilities, Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach and Gardens North County District Park in Palm Beach Gardens. In addition to being one of Florida’s most impressive Major League Baseball Spring Training complexes, Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is a dynamic setting for a multitude of outdoor sports. In addition to the 7,700-capacity stadium as its centerpiece and the 13 MLB-regulation diamonds, the 160-acre complex at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches consists of five multipurpose fields designed to FIFA soccer specifications (120-by-80-yards). Ballpark of the Palm Beaches has been home to several marquee soccer tournaments since its opening in 2017.
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 projects, 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 and the Joseph R. Russo Athletic Complex delivers an additional two multipurpose fields within one location. These venues have been home to soccer events on a national and global scale.