Some ‘Shoulder Season’

In many locales, from a sports tourism standpoint October is considered part of a ‘shoulder’ season. Deemed far from a peak month, with just a smattering of events and plenty of room for growth. Baseball and softball are essentially over, indoor sports such as hockey are just beginning and skiing has yet to crank up. This October, especially the first couple of weeks, exactly the opposite is true in the Wenatchee Valley. Hotel space, sports fields, and even ice time will be at a premium.    October 5-7 will feature the long-awaited US Figure Skating Northwest Pacific Regionals at Town Toyota Center. Over 260 skaters representing seven western states, many with Olympics aspirations, will give our area a chance to witness a competitive level of skating seldom seen here. There’s a lot on the line, including a trip to the sectionals with a possibility to actually make the US Olympic team. Pretty heady stuff.
The following weekend, the Apple Cup Soccer Tournament will take place at several venues throughout the region. This is an event that averages over 100 teams annually, making it one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the northwest. Nearly 20 fields in five locations will play host to boys and girls teams with divisions ranging from 6-18 years of age.
Between these two events alone, the valley can expect sports tourism spending in the neighborhood of $450,000. Not bad for two weeks in a so-called ‘shoulder’ season. Hats off to the Wenatchee Figure Skating Club and Wenatchee Fire Soccer for not only providing the economic boost, but hosting events that provide local participation (soccer) and a unique entertainment opportunity (figure skating).

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