Entering its seventh year, the 2012 Continental Cup will be relocating to new venues predominantly to the west side of Cleveland in order to accommodate growing trends and future opportunities. Over 3,500 athletes from across the globe are expected to compete this July 5-8, in the AC Milan soccer, Cleveland Indians Charities baseball and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball Continental Cup tournaments.
Victory Park Ohio, a sports complex located in North Ridgeville, has recently partnered with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and will host the soccer and baseball tournaments. North Olmsted Barton and Bradley fields, Olmsted Falls Soccer Complex and the City of North Ridgeville Soccer Complex will also host soccer with Euclid Memorial Park to be utilized as an additional baseball site. Baldwin-Wallace College will be home to the basketball tournament as well as the lodging location for international athletes.
Increasing domestic and international team participation is a strategic focus in 2012 which will bring more outside visitors and tourism dollars to the Northeast Ohio region. A projected 8% domestic team growth and 19% international team growth is expected from 2011.
“Our vision was to create the largest, most respected annual international youth sports festival in the world while providing a significant positive economic impact to the local community. The Continental Cup is on track to being the fastest growing international youth sports festival in the world and we realize that it is greatly due to our wonderful partners who also see the significance of an event like this,” stated David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Each registered youth athlete that participates in the Cleveland Indians Charities baseball tournament will receive a complimentary ticket to any Cleveland Indians game that weekend with basketball and soccer participants to receive free admittance to a game with the purchase of at least one regularly priced ticket. All Continental Cup athletes are encouraged to attend the Friday, July 6th game against the Tampa Bay Rays and participate in a special pre-game parade on Progressive Field and stay for a fireworks show following the game.
All Cleveland Cavaliers Continental Cup tournament participants will receive a complimentary ticket to a future 2012 Cleveland Cavaliers game with special discounted tickets for coaches, family and friends.
As part of the AC Milan Continental Cup, teams from across the United States and the globe are invited to participate in the prestigious AC Milan U12 and U13 Boys Super Group. AC Milan Technical Directors will be evaluating games to select the top boys in the age group to be trained, tested and evaluated in Milan, Italy with all expenses paid. A limited number of teams for this esteemed event will be accepted. AC Milan Academy is also planning to bring over ten elite teams to participate in the Continental Cup, including Club America de Cali, one of the most highly regarded teams from Colombia.
Recruitment is well underway with teams slated to attend from countries including Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Curacao, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Australia, Philippines, Guam, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria. Owned and managed by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, the Continental Cup event is estimated to bring over $3 million in economic activity to the region. For more information or to register for the 2012 Continental Cup, please visit www.continental-