CHARLESTON — The Barboursville Soccer Complex and Kanawha County’s Shawnee Sports Complex will co-host U.S. Youth Soccer’s Eastern Presidents Cup competition for a third consecutive year, from June 19-23, 2021.

The five-day tournament is expected to bring 150 teams to the two West Virginia cities from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, as well as a number of in-state locations.

Shawnee and Barboursville jointly hosted the Eastern Presidents Cup for the first time in June of this year, and had earlier been tapped to co-host the same event in 2020. After visiting the playing fields and off-field amenities in the Charleston-Barboursville area last week, U.S. Youth Soccer announced its decision to have the Eastern Presidents Cup in western West Virginia again in 2011.

The Kanawha and Cabell county soccer athletic venues also teamed up to host U.S. Youth Soccer’s Eastern Regional Tournament from June 28 to July 4 this year, bringing 260 teams to the area from across the Eastern United States. They will host that tournament again next year, from June 26 to July 2.

Two years of hosting both U.S. Youth Soccer’s regional tournament play and Eastern Presidents Cup competition generates an economic impact of nearly $60 million to the Charleston-Barboursville area, according to Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango.

This year, 41 hotels in the area sold out, and more than 4,500 rooms were booked during the two U.S. Youth Soccer tourneys, Salango said.

“Hotels from Clendenin to Grayson, Kentucky, were full” when the tournaments took place, said Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum.

To help keep the region a contender for regional and national soccer tournament play, Barboursville, which hosted the event on its own in 2017, plans to convert four of its 16 grass playing fields to artificial turf after next year’s Eastern Presidents Cup. Tatum said plans are also in the works for a 70,000-square-foot indoor multisport facility.

“That should help keep us in the bidding for more and bigger tournaments in the years to come,” Tatum said.

Salango is an investor in HD Media, which owns the Charleston Gazette-Mail, The Herald-Dispatch and other newspapers.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow @rsteelhammer on Twitter.

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