|Premier Soccer Services, the producer of the Copa Rayados Internacional Soccer Tournament which has been conducted annually during Thanksgiving week is requesting The Woodlands Township waive the sports field rental fees for the tournament, and provide in-kind support services.
During the same period of time in 2015 that was used for the sports fields for the tournament in 2016, ( prior to the tournament) the total field rental fees generated from those fields was $1,440. Using a field rental rate similar to the one approved by the Board of Directors for an existing Memorandum of Understanding for field use, the value of the field rental and lights usage fee for the proposed tournament would amount to $19,897.92. The in-kind support services such as trash removal, restroom maintenance and field preparation are services that are either already included in the parks budget or that can be easily absorbed with little fiscal impact. Within the extension, there are provisions to recoup field rental cost if a minimum number of room nights are not provided.
Per documentation provided by Premier Soccer Services to The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the tournament could have significant economic impact on The Woodlands Township (Attachment A). The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Economic Impact Calculator estimates that the tournament generated $1.9 million in direct economic impact prior to multipliers being used.
The CVB Board of Directors voted on January 8, 2019, to provide Premier Soccer Services with a 25% rebate of hotel tax generated in the Township by hotel rooms sold for the tournament. This rebate will be based off of the actual hotel occupancy tax generated for The Woodlands Township, which is a tax of 9% of the room rate.
|In 2016, The Woodlands Township and The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau successfully entered into a Host Venue Sponsorship Agreement with Premier Soccer Services, LLC. to bring the Copa Rayados Internacional Soccer Tournament from the San Antonio area to The Woodlands. The soccer tournament was contracted to bring in between 160-200 soccer teams over the Thanksgiving week for a three (3) year agreement beginning in 2016 through 2018.
With the three-year contract coming to an end along with the 2018 tournament, The Woodlands Township, Visit The Woodlands and Premier Soccer Services discussed considerations for an additional three (3) year agreement. Overall, the tournament has been a positive event for the Township and the local soccer community.
In 2016, The Woodlands CVB Board of Directors approved a rebate program to assist in bringing the soccer tournament to The Woodlands. The Hotel Rebate program provides the tournament organizer, Premier Soccer Services, a 25% rebate of the hotel tax generated in The Woodlands Township by hotel rooms sold for the event. The rebate is based on the actualized hotel occupancy tax generated for The Township; tax is 9% of the room rate. Overall, the following rooms were reserved:
Along with the rebate program, The Woodlands Township waived the field use fees for Bear Branch Fields, Gosling Sports Complex, and Alden Bridge fields, based on the expected economic impact and hotel occupancy tax of this tournament. While the 2018 was a positive event in terms of room nights, in The Woodlands and the ancillary shopping, restaurant spending and incidental spending, a minimum number of room nights should be outlined in a future agreement.
- 483 hotel rooms within The Woodlands Township compared to 3,108 hotel rooms utilized for the tournament outside of The Woodlands boundaries.
- 202 teams: 10 local, 84 Houston area teams, and 73 from outside the Houston Metro Area and 35 from Mexico.
- 440 room nights utilized within The Woodlands hotels compared to 3,028 verified rooms booked outside of The Woodlands
- 192 teams: 14 local, 1 from the Netherlands, 1 from Canada, 43 from Mexico, 43 from outside the Houston Metro Area, and 90 Houston area teams
- 1385 room nights were utilized within The Woodlands hotel compared to 3957 (estimate) rooms booked outside of The Woodlands
- 184 teams: 12 local, 75 Houston area teams, 31 teams from Mexico, and 66 American teams from outside the Metro area
If the minimum number is not met, then there should be penalty paid by the organizer to the Township for the use of the fields as the waiver of the field fees are based on the notion of economic impact. Please see Attachment B- 2019-2021 Host Venue Sponsorship Agreement for the Copa Rayados Internacional Soccer Tournament, which establishes a threshold of 1,400 verified rooms within the boundaries of the Township and if this threshold is not met, field use fees are required to be paid to the Township.