If the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB’s) and Sport Event Planners of smaller cities and towns were able to assess the trends of their youth soccer tourists, they might be in a better position to attract and retain these tourists as well as other tourists in other sports, large events or small. The purpose of this study was to examine where Virginia youth soccer participants, their family, and friends dine, lodge, entertain, recreate, and spend their free time when not playing soccer. This study takes a look at the growing business of youth soccer travel as it relates to the multi-billion dollar a year sport tourism industry. Relationships are shown in this study on where, when and how much money youth soccer tourists spend at a tournament destination compared to a 2008 study done by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) on overall youth sporting event trends. Other relationships in this study include a listing of other popular activities that youth soccer tourists partake of during their free time in the host community also compared to the NASC study.

There has been a lack of research done in the field of youth sport tourism because it is a fairly new business to track, but it is rapidly growing. There are also not many sport tourism studies focused on the smaller communities. A questionnaire was created to collect the data for this study. These questions were selected to better find out just who, and what kind of visitors these cities in Virginia are getting with these tournaments in hopes that the information gathered will help in planning and being prepared for future youth soccer events in Virginia as well as help other smaller communities plan other sporting events in other states.