International Soccer Tournament gives $5 million boost to local economy

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December 08, 2014
The SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional youth soccer tournament, one of four San Antonio Sports Bexar County Games presented by Ancira events, generated an economic impact of $5 million for the local economy during its four-day tenure last week.  The estimate was calculated using an economic impact calculator provided by the National Association of Sports Commissions.
“This is a conservative estimate,” said Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO of San Antonio Sports. “But we know with Black Friday shopping opportunities, our weekend visitors, especially those from Mexico, were eager to get to our local shopping malls after their games. The impact of that direct spending is not reflected in the economic impact estimate.”
The SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional was the largest international soccer tournament in Texas, and the largest soccer tournament in San Antonio, with 245 teams playing games at three separate soccer complexes.  It attracted an estimated total of 4,900 participants and spectators, which included 62 teams from Mexico, 146 teams from across Texas, and seven from other states. The calculation includes room nights, direct hotel and rental car expenditures, food and beverage, entertainment, and clothing expenditures.
“San Antonio is the perfect location—geographically and as a destination—for this international tournament,” explained Scott Spencer, tournament director and U.S. representative for Monterrey Rayados.  “Having SeaWorld as the title sponsor and opening ceremony host added a special element that made this tournament unique. Based upon the response from competitors, next year will be even bigger.”
"The SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional was an invaluable addition to an increasingly powerful part of the travel tourism landscape in San Antonio: youth sports,” said Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Consider that roughly 200 of the participating teams came from our key markets, including Monterrey, Houston, Dallas, Austin and South Texas.
"Our destination is attractive in part due to our family-friendly environment and great hospitality partners such as SeaWorld, the event's title sponsor. The Thanksgiving weekend allowed our visitors to enjoy San Antonio at its finest, from the holiday lights on the River Walk to shopping and our unique family attractions."
The 2014 San Antonio Sports Bexar County Games presented by Ancira are youth sports competitions that take place at Bexar County facilities, some of the best venues in Texas. The games began with basketball at Mission Concepción Sports Complex in May, followed by the Bexar County Games Valero Missions Cup Premier Baseball Tournament in July, and concluded with the Bexar County Games SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional soccer tournament last week. On January 31, 2015, San Antonio Sports will host the Bexar County Games San Antonio Cup Lacrosse Play Day.
The Bexar County Games, presented by Ancira, provide an opportunity to import, rather than export teams.  Local teams can play squads from around the county, the region and from Mexico here in San Antonio instead of traveling to other venues in Texas.  Last year the Copa Rayados Internacional had 160 teams and 40 international teams. This year, 245 participated with many players and their families extending their stay to visit the city’s theme parks and other tourist destinations, providing a significant economic impact.
Since its inception, San Antonio Sports has been a proponent of the development of quality competitive and recreational sports facilities in our area. As one of the co-organizers of the SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional tournament, along with the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau and Monterray Rayados, San Antonio Sports was thrilled to bring hundreds of teams to San Antonio rather than see local young athletes travel to other cities for comparable competition.
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About San Antonio Sports
San Antonio Sports is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform our community through the power of sport.  San Antonio Sports bids on and hosts premier sporting events such as NCAA® championships, which have generated a local economic impact of more than $460 million.  San Antonio Sports kids programs, including our i play! afterschool program, University Health Systems Go!Kids Challenge™ and SUBWAY Kids Rock marathon training program, annually touch the lives of more than 150,000 children in San Antonio through sports training and fitness programs.  Additionally, San Antonio Sports serves as a catalyst for the development of quality recreational and athletic facilities in our community.  To learn more, visit
Carolyn Wheat, Public Relations Manager