This year's team expansion was made possible by a community partnership between the Park City Soccer Club and the South Summit and Heber Valley soccer clubs to increase the number of playing fields. Teams will now play at 14 venues in Park City, Oakley and Heber City.
The increasingly popular tournament rejected nearly 200 applicants, even after expanding to accommodate more teams, according to Gillwald, heightening the Extreme Cup's prominence among regional tournaments. The Park City Soccer Club accepts teams based on registration date, level of play and past participation, with priority given to out-of-state and out-of-region teams who plan to stay overnight in Park City during the tournament. This year's field includes teams from California, Washington, Nevada and Wyoming, along with traveling Utah teams from St. George and Logan.
Gillwald believes that Park City's appeal as a vacation destination is a big reason the tournament has become so popular.
"The timing is by design," she notes. "We created a tournament around something to do outside soccer." She explains that families at youth tournaments often have hours of free time between games, leaving them ample opportunity to explore the host community. "We wanted to showcase all the exciting things that take place in Park City. In some towns you're left trying to fill time by going to the movies or the mall. There is so much more to do here."
Beyond the tourism impact, the Extreme Cup will also directly benefit local sports teams. Through a partnership with Jamba Juice, the Park City High School girls' soccer team will earn money toward their sports fees by selling concessions. High school teams at South Summit and Wasatch High Schools will also benefit from fundraising.
"We really strived to make this tournament about the community," Gillwald says.
The Park City Extreme Soccer Tournament will feature U.S. Youth Soccer-sanctioned boys' and girls' teams, ages 9 to 18. All games are open to the public and free to spectators. More information, including venue locations and schedules, is available at www.parkcityextremecup.com .
About Park City Soccer Club
Park City Soccer Club exists to inspire young athletes to develop competitive level soccer skills through positive interactions with professional trainers and licensed coaches. The club promotes sportsmanship, fellowship, and respect for the game of soccer, others that play and those that coach and referee.