Photo: Justin Meyer / San Antonio Express-News
Local government and sports officials stand with World Collegiate Soccer Championship (WCSC) executives, during a press conference at San Antonio City Council chambers on Aug. 7, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio will host the (WCSC) revival in March 2018, the first of five years the city has pledged to house the tournament, after a 26-year hiatus. The championship will include men’s teams from eight countries, with confirmed participation from Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Japan, and Mexico. Invitations have been sent to Canada, the NAIA and NCAA. Eight teams ultimately will be chosen for the 2018 edition and be crowned champions hosting the Prof. Julio Mazzei Trophy.
Comalander Stadium and Heroes Stadium will be the tournament’s venues, with Heroes hosting the final. Additionally, the stadiums will have the World Pre-Collegiate Soccer Championship Showcase and World Collegiate Club Championship Showcase, which San Antonio Sports expects to attract a total of more than 340 teams.
“We look forward to many years of partnering with San Antonio Sports and the city of San Antonio, as well as welcoming many visitors to the state of Texas,” said Robert Azar, executive director of the World Collegiate Soccer Championship, in a statement.
Visit San Antonio and the San Antonio Tourism Council were also involved in the effort to bring the championship event to the Alamo City. The 2018 matches will be part of the city’s official Tricentennial celebration.
The tournament is projected to produce more than $13 million in annual economic impact for the Greater San Antonio area, according to a study done by Steven R. Nivin Economic Research & Consulting.
Beyond the financial gains, president and CEO of San Antonio Sports Russ Bookbinder said “the WCSC will give the city another notch on its soccer resume, which will be crucial when the time comes for bigger Bids”, which may include future Bids for a possible MLS team and being part of the multi-country 2026 World Cup bid.