FOLEY, AL – This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Publix SuperCup Girls Weekend and the Bounders Beach Bash being held in tandem at Foley Sports Tourism (FST). The two events draw thousands to the city and continue to grow each year.
Snap Soccer, host of the Publix SuperCup Girls Weekend, has been partnering with FST since its inception. Operations Manager for the organization Zack Touchstone said they’ve been hosting the SuperCup in Foley since 2016 and seen it grow about 40% since that time. He attributes the growth to the unique location and strong partnership with the FST staff.
“For Snap Soccer the partnership provides us with the best facility to run our events as well as aligns us with a partner that has a similar view of the sport and that’s growing the game,” Touchstone said. “The fields are the best grass fields in the southeast, hands down. The location is superb for any traveling team. It’s central to many states and the location has so much to offer teams when they aren’t playing. Not to mention our team really enjoys the staff at FST.”
While the SuperCup came to Foley in 2016, it wasn’t until the following year when the Foley Event Center opened. The Bounders Beach Bash gymnastics meet was the first event ever hosted in the new facility and it was held in tandem with the Publix SuperCup Girls Weekend at the FST Fields. The Bama Bounders puts on the meet each year and owner Erin Holdefer-Kightlinger has had a similar experience to Touchstone. She said Beach Bash has grown each year it’s been hosted in Foley and much of the draw comes from all the area has to offer as well as the FST staff.
“The hospitality, the facility, and the attractions in Foley are a huge part of this growth,” Holdefer-Kightlinger said. “The staff is by far the best part of working with FST. Everyone is so helpful, hospitable, and like family by now. We just finished hosting a huge regional competition in Foley. We are hosting a State Championship in December. Any time we can bid on a meet to host in Foley we will. I think our partnership will continue to grow for a long time.”
City of Foley Executive Director of Leisure Services David Thompson said it’s these kinds of partnerships that make five years seem like just the beginning.
“Foley Sports Tourism was created to bring visitors to our city and share with them all the beauty and hospitality we have to offer,” Thompson said. “It’s been incredible to have partners like Snap Soccer and Bama Bounders who believe not only in our mission but how we can continually improve upon what we do in order to better achieve our goals. We will take this moment to celebrate this five-year milestone with two incredible partners, but then we will look into how we can top it in year six.”