Foley Sports Tourism (FST) is no stranger to large soccer tournaments that draw teams from around the nation, but this weekend the facility will host a different kind of soccer competition when IXL (The I-10 League) comes to town.
The event is one piece of a multi-platform program put together by the I-10 Futbol Alliance said Founder Ed Espinoza.
“Comprised of some of the Southeast’s most successful soccer clubs along the Interstate-10 corridor, the leaders of these clubs looked at the current and future direction of soccer in the Southeast and the surrounding region and determined the current landscape offered limited opportunities for any single club, but together we could expand those opportunities for our players,” Espinoza said. “This is a radical shift in how clubs operate and more specifically, in how they cooperate. It fulfills an important need in player development and builds a new pathway for players by offering a higher level of competition than any single club can typically achieve.”
The Alliance focuses on developing four key areas- competition, player development, club, coach and referee development, and player health and safety. This weekend’s event falls within the competition platform and will be bringing 44 teams to Foley. Espinoza said bringing the Alliance to the city was a no-brainer.
“FST is one of the most exciting and comprehensive developments in this region,” Espinoza said. “It gives our program the opportunity to offer the highest number of high-quality fields within a 3-hour radius of our regional clubs and offers an infrastructure of hotels, restaurants, and good road access to our soccer families who travel in for our events. The options associated with such a high-quality soccer venue are currently unmatched in our market.”
FST Deputy Director of Sales and Marketing Don Dukmineer said while the league-style set up is something the facility hasn’t taken on before, it’s something the entire staff is excited about.
“The hardest part of meeting our visitors is trying to narrow down all the amazing places in Foley we could recommend they visit during their stay,” Dukemineer said. “With a league set up, we know they’ll be back for future league events or single tournaments. We can recommend a number of places to try and if they don’t get to everything this time around they’ll have the opportunity to do so next time they visit.”
The IXL event kicks off at 8 a.m. on August 24. It is free and open to the public.
For more information on the competition or any FST event visit our events page.