Global Soccer Tournament Attracted Hundreds of Thousands of Fans to South Florida, Filling Hotel Rooms and Drawing Praise from Community Leaders
MIAMI GARDENS, FL (August 12, 2013) – On the heels of the Guinness International Champions Cup, public officials and tourism leaders across South Florida gave rave reviews to the debut of Relevent Sports’ world-class soccer tournament, which brought the world’s top soccer teams and their best players to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
William D. Talbert, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau noted the high interest generated by the participation of top clubs and their star players, which resulted in “world-wide media coverage not only of the championship, but also the destination. The timing is excellent during our summer season as it heightens interest for travel to Miami, especially by our international visitors, who are traditionally known as passionate soccer fans,” said Talbert.
In its first year, the Guinness International Champions Cup visited seven cities, culminating in a two-day final round at Miami Gardens’ Sun Life Stadium. Tournament participants included Real Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus, A.C. Milan, Everton, Valencia and the LA Galaxy.
During the final round, the eight teams descended upon South Florida with thousands of loyal fans in tow, helping fill hotels, restaurants throughout the region during a typically quiet period in the South Florida tourism cycle.
“Having a recurring event like this during the summer months is a tremendous boon for the hospitality industry, especially with teams of this magnitude. In addition to the direct impact of the teams and their fans, the eyes of the world [were] fixed on Miami, [with] millions of loyal soccer enthusiasts in Spain, Italy, and England hearing, seeing and hopefully, thinking about Miami, which is great for our industry and our community,” said William Wiest, Market Director of Sales & Marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne and The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove.
Other prominent hoteliers echoed Wiest’s sentiment.
“Having this important tournament in Miami creates a great deal of ‘buzz’ in the community, and generates incremental business at properties like ours from a rooms standpoint,” said Florencia Tabeni, General Manager of the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. “It is a win/win for the whole of our hospitality industry.”
Although the site for next year’s final round has not yet been determined, tournament organizers were complimentary of the South Florida experience.
“This was Steve Ross and Matt Higgins vision to have a true world class soccer tournament with the finals here in Miami,” said Charlie Stillitano, the CEO of Relevent Sports, which organized the tournament. “The level of play was high and there was a lot of pride on the line. Every team involved said that and they didn’t see it as a friendly match as evident from the commitment of the players. The Fan Fest and ancillary events in and around the stadium were top notch as well.”
In addition to the commitment of the players and clubs, the passion of South Florida’s soccer community was also on full display, as noted by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who was able to attend the Championship Match.
“I was very impressed with the tremendous fan support for the Real-Madrid/Chelsea match last Wednesday night,” said Mayor Gimenez. “This game was a strong indication of the energy and excitement major league soccer can bring to our community, and there is no doubt that our residents represent a strong base of support,” he added.
#ICCMiami fan pictures have been compiled at http://www.sunlifestadium.com/icc-fan-pics.
More information about the International Champions Cup can be found at www.internationalchampionscup.com.
About Relevent Sports
Relevent Sports brings the excitement and intensity of international soccer to the United States by showcasing the best clubs in the world through premier tournaments and events. Going beyond the game, Relevent provides an innovative approach to building international soccer presence by utilizing brand development, grassroots planning, corporate sponsors, international touring and philanthropic initiatives for the soccer organizations.
About RSE Ventures
Founded in 2012 by Stephen M. Ross and Matt Higgins, RSE Ventures operates in four interrelated verticals: Sports, Entertainment, Digital, and New Ventures. The company’s growing roster of companies, venues and events includes the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, Sun Life Stadium, Relevent Sports and Insignia Sports & Entertainment