The Red Diamond Classic youth soccer tournament will draw 285 of the region’s best teams to compete at fields across Birmingham the first two weekends in March.
The Red Diamond® Classic youth soccer tournament, which will draw 285 of the region’s elite teams to Birmingham in March, is entering its 21st year. Since the first tournament in 1998 the tournament has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region and generated more than $113 million in economic impact.
“One thing that’s been clear from the early days of this tournament is that soccer is big business for Birmingham,” said Bill Bowron, Chairman, President and CEO of Red Diamond. “We measure that in terms of how many families travel here and what they do once they’re here. They enjoy the notable restaurant scene and the full Birmingham experience, and have generated a cumulative $113 million economic impact in the process. What’s particularly exciting this year, we’re seeing soccer’s impact expand beyond our tournament. The timing of this year’s Red Diamond Classic coincides with the inaugural season of the Birmingham Legion FC. Those Legion games will bring teams from Pennsylvania, New York state, Missouri, Virginia, Connecticut and Ottawa, Canada, among others, to Birmingham to play soccer. Now our community will see the benefits that last full seasons, beyond the two wonderful weekends of this elite tournament. Over the years of operating this tournament, we’ve seen the region come to value a sport that rewards strategic thinking, a healthy lifestyle and collaboration. And we’re all reaping the rewards from it.”
“Birmingham has grown into such a strong sports town, with the facilities and infrastructure to support it,” said David Galbaugh with the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “Teams from around the country have come to associate us with amenities and hospitality that have them returning year after year. Red Diamond Classic has led the way there, and has out- of-state teams who’ve been a part of that tournament for a decade or more.”
The best teams from around the Southeast will join Alabama’s premier teams for highly competitive soccer played at 21 fields throughout Jefferson and Shelby counties. The tournament draws players ages nine to 17, with many of the teams being state champions or finalists. The boys will compete March 2-3, with the girls competing March 9-10. The tournament is directed by and benefits the Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA.)
To see the players in action, visit birminghamunited.com for the complete schedule and list of teams.