CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Bill Fisher has been running soccer tournaments throughout Florida for a dozen years, but never had to go through a pandemic.
After sitting down with Coral Springs Parks and Recreation Department officials on Monday, Fisher is waiting to find out if he gets the go-ahead to host the inaugural Springs Holiday Cup tournament on Dec. 18-20 at 10 sites throughout the city. The tournament would be hosted by the Springs Soccer Club, which was formed in the spring.
Because of Covid-19, Broward County needs to approve the tournament.
The tournament would feature boys and girls ages U9 through U19/20, and Fisher is hopeful of about 150 teams attending. Even with a short window to advertise, he believes that number is realistic.
“We are pretty confident we can get between 100 and 150 teams,” said Fisher, who is the tournament director for the Springs Soccer Club and has held tournaments in Weston, Naples, Pinecrest, Davie, Orlando, and other cities. “The city told us they would like to keep it around 150 teams.”
The Springs Holiday Cup would be the first major soccer tournament held in South Florida since the Covid-19 pandemic began, according to Fisher.
“We will have a lot of COVID precautions in place,” said Fisher, who recently hosted a tournament in Naples that was originally scheduled for Davie and then Plantation before being shifted to the west coast of the state.
“As we have found, with soccer being outdoors is a key,” he continued. “The clubs and families will follow proper protocols with being tested and quarantined. We are encouraging one family member to attend as a spectator, and everyone should wear a mask.”
The Springs Soccer Club began last spring after the city sent out bids to run a travel program. Roger and Laurie Thomas, who ran the neighborhood Parkland Soccer Club, were hired to run the Springs Soccer Club as well. One part of the proposal was running two tournaments during the year.
Fisher said he’d like to have a fall/winter and spring/summer tournament and can eventually attract between 200 and 300 teams.
“This is part of the regrowth of soccer in the city of Coral Springs,” he said. “I think ultimately when we come out of COVID, this (tournament) will drive economic impact in the city. This will be the first soccer tournament held in South Florida since the pandemic and I think it is a good reflection on the city of Coral Springs to trust us and put on a safe tournament.”