The City of Lancaster is home to two large sports complexes: the James C. Gilley Lancaster National Soccer Center and the Big 8 Softball Complex. These facilities are major assets to the community, providing top quality playing facilities for Lancaster residents, as well as the more than 70,000 visitors from around the country that they host each year. In fact, in 2017, soccer and softball tournaments generated $18 million in regional economic impact, a significant boost for the local economy.
The Lancaster National Soccer Center holds numerous tournaments throughout the year, including the California State Soccer Association (Cal South) and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Nationals Cups. Similarly, the Big 8 Softball Complex hosts a number of high profile tournaments each year, such as the 2017 USA Softball Class B & Class C State Championships, USA Softball Men’s Class D National Championship, and USA Preps 2017 National Championship.
The economic impact of these tournaments is better known as “sports tourism,” which describes the ability to bring visitors to a city as a result of sports programs and facilities. Athletes from across the country visit Lancaster to play in regional and national tournaments. Sports tourism has a direct and profound impact on the local economy. In fact, in 2017, the Lancaster National Soccer Center hosted 1,502 State Cup teams and 141 National Cup teams, as well as approximately 53,000 visitors, resulting in an estimated economic impact of $12.5 million. Additionally, the Big 8 Softball Complex hosted 584 various tournament teams, and approximately 19,000 visitors, resulting in an estimated economic impact of $5.5 million.
In addition to serving as tournament destinations on the weekends, the Lancaster National Soccer Center and Big 8 Softball Complex are utilized daily by local residents and teams. The Lancaster National Soccer Center is home to eight local leagues which total several hundred teams, while the Big 8 Softball Complex serves more than 400 local league teams throughout the year and is a practice facility for numerous youth baseball and softball players.
Photo Credit: City of Lancaster
Courtesy by the City of ancaster
For additional information regarding the Lancaster National Soccer Center, the Big 8 Softball Complex, and the events they host, contact the Parks, Recreation and Arts Department at 661-723-6077. For more information about visiting Lancaster, including sports tournaments and group hotel rates, call Destination Lancaster, Antelope Valley’s visitor bureau, at 661-723-6074 or visit www.destinationlancasterca.org.