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Soccer Tourney Coming to Arlington This Weekend

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm 2,340 17 Comments

The annual Arlington Spring Invitational soccer tournament will kick off Friday.

The tournament features 500+ boys and girls travel teams and about 4,500 players from around the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. One team is coming from as far away as Quebec, Canada. Teams range in age from Under-10 to Under-15.

The boys teams will play this weekend. Girls teams will play next weekend.

The tournament, which is sanctioned by US Youth Soccer, takes advantage of Arlington’s plentiful synthetic turf fields, which are ideal for the normally soggy month of March.

Unfortunately, rain is indeed in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

According to this article about the invitational, Arlington County has the highest concentration of synthetic fields in the country.

  • CMC

    Just to clarify – the boys weekend is this weekend. The girls will play next weekend.

    • Whoops, yes that’s something I should have included. Thanks.

  • TomTom

    Well let’s just hope they don’t play on the Bishop O’Connell fields, that would be WWIII with the neighbors!

    • soccerhead

      No games at O’Connell– this year. One of the carrots that O’Connell has included in their package is access to their fields once the renovations are done

  • Snookie

    Another reason to stay away from Ballston mall this weekend (as if we needed more reasons).

  • dave schutz

    There’s a reason no one else has as many synthetic fields as we do. They can’t afford them. A field costs $800 thousand, and lasts eight to ten years. Say ten years, that’s $80 thousand a year. You get 200 days of play, that’s $400 a day.

    We actually can’t afford them either, we just think we can.

    • Former player

      Let’s assume the math you’ve provided is accurate, which could be in question. But, we’ll assume $400/day is the cost of the field.

      Synthetic fields are booked quite often more than 12 hours per day. Maybe less in the off season, but certainly the average booked time is likely 8 hours on an annualized rate. If I recall correctly, soccer games are usually booked in two hour increments of field time from the county. A few years back a field for a game would cost $120 per game, or $60/hour. So, in order to meet your $400/day cost, the county would need to book a field for 7 hours in a day to make a profit. I think they indeed do make a profit, but maybe not a big one.

      What you have failed to mention is the maintenance costs of a grass field are significantly higher. And, grass fields can’t be booked in bad weather which results in a revenue loss for the county.

  • Claremont

    The value of synthetic fields for events like this is one of schedulability. Like many events scheduled well in advance, sports tournaments are far easier “sells” if the event organizers can say “yes, our event will proceed regardless of weather.”. Can’t say that with grass fields. And with the number of families committing to travel to such events, weather-related cancellations are the bane of their existence. Everyone wins.

  • JimPB

    Where are the synthetic fields in ArlCo? THe high schools account for three. Others???

    • Overgrown Bush

      Next to Pentagon City and Gunston are two I can think of.

  • Claremont
  • Deb

    Yea…Arlington Youth Lacrosse missing practices for this stuff. These kids live HERE, pay TAXES HERE, and still soccer ruins their early season practices. I hate soccer. In most areas of the country it is a FALL sport.

    • Claremont

      Registered Arlington lax players ~ 230 – 250. Registered Arlington soccer players ~ 6,000. Various sports routinely give up space to other sports (or non-sports) for special events. The County has limited field inventory, so we will increasingly have to get along, especially as the school populations increase in the near term.

      • Deb

        Get along to you means to get out of the way I guess…typical soccer attitude.

        • Claremont

          Erm, no, you may not be aware of it, but other sports (soccer included) give way to lacrosse at times as well. No one sport gets total control of the fields (which is as it should be).

    • Overgrown Bush

      In most areas of the country lacrosse isn’t a sport. Personally, I’ve seen lacrosse lines and gear on soccer fields. Clearly, practice and field time is shared probably in proportion to the registered players. Northern VA is indeed a strong soccer community, so there lacrosse likely won’t get the same kind of field time as is needed for soccer.

    • Cranky Crankypants

      At every field, there is a local (read Arlington) host team. I would wager than their parents pay taxes, too. Oh, and I wouldn’t object to the peripheral tax revenues from hotels and food establishments that will be coming to the county, as they help pay for the fire department, schools, and, oh yeah, the upkeep of the fields that lax players use.


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