RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One of Richmond’s largest youth soccer tournaments has been canceled this weekend because of Thursday’s storm, and it’s having a major economic impact on our area.
The Jefferson Cup Boy’s Tournament was supposed to run Friday through Sunday.
This weekend alone, the event was expected to bring 18,000 people from all over the country. That means area businesses are now losing millions of dollars, especially area hotels.
Mike Watkins, the general manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Midlothian, says they had almost 400 room nights booked for the tournament this weekend.
“Our hotel alone has lost an excess of $50,000 just this weekend,” said Watkins.
The DoubleTree is one of dozens of hotels that will lose a total of 11,000 reserved room nights after this week’s storm forced the Richmond Strikers to cancel the Jefferson Cup boys games.
Tourism officials say the three day soccer tournament–held on fields all over the Richmond Metro Area–was expected to bring more than $3.5 million in revenue.
“Obviously mother nature threw us a curve ball with the snow and sleet. And a lot of cancellations of flights and traveling. And it was overall safety,” said John Faircloth with the Richmond Strikers.
It’s a disappointment not only for the 425 teams and their players hoping to get scouted, but to local businesses as well.
The past two weekends, the Ultimate Cup, hosted by the Richmond Kickers and Chesterfield United, was also canceled because of snow.
“The restaurants, the shopping malls, gas stations, convenience stores –the entire Richmond region is impacted significantly when you pull 40,000 to 45,000 visitors out of here over a three-weekend period,” said Watkins.
The Jefferson Cup will have two more tournaments–Girls Weekend March 14-15 and Girls Showcase Weekend March 20-22.