Over the years, we’ve spent many weekends traveling to attend soccer tournaments. As always, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience unless otherwise noted. If you have reviews of your own, please add in the comments! This time LSG and I traveled to Phoenix for the ECNL Phoenix Showcase National Event.
Overall Impressions: This was our first experience with an ECNL National Event and it didn’t disappoint! The event was extremely well organized at a beautiful facility with fun photo opportunities and team events. It’s a three day event with one game per day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Dates: November 11-13 2016
Location: Phoenix, Arizona Reach 11 Complex
Number of Teams: Approximately 180
Strength of Competition: Extremely competitive with ECNL teams from across the nation.
Fields: Games were played at the amazing Reach 11 Sports Complex. This was by far the most beautiful youth soccer complex I’ve ever seen. Parking was FREE and very convenient to all the fields. The ECNL had many practical and fun things set up for the girls such as music and post/pre game stretching, taping etc.. at THE ZONE. There were multiple photo opportunities with the all important ECNL branding that the girls (and their moms) loved. We played one game at a neighboring complex which wasn’t nearly as nice, but had two days at the Reach 11 Complex.
Weather: The weather was sunny and beautiful, but definitely on the warm side later in the afternoons. Two of our games were early morning, but our 11:00am was very warm. Sunscreen was definitely necessary!
Hotels: This is a stay and play tournament so all hotel bookings are required to go through the tournament. Our whole club stayed at a hotel near the airport which was about 25 miles from the complex. It was a fine hotel, but the area wasn’t really the greatest. I think most people would have preferred to stay closer to the fields.
Things to Do: The girls had fun the first afternoon at the Desert Ridge Marketplace (21001 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85050) which is about 5-10 minutes from the Reach 11 Complex. California Pizza Kitchen was very accommodating for our team lunch and then the girls went and saw a movie. While the girls were at the movie, most of the moms went shopping while most of the dads saw a different movie… and took a nice nap in the cozy, dark theater. (I wish I would have thought of that!) There are a ton of restaurants and shops and it’s a nice place to walk around.
We also took the girls to visit Arizona State University which was a great excursion! They loved seeing the campus and eating at the commons. We of course checked out the bookstore for some ASU soccer gear. I really liked how downtown Tempe merges with the campus creating a super cute downtown area. I also loved how the football, basketball, swim stadiums were all together so close to campus. It made me imagine an awesome game day experience for students.
What really made this weekend fun was hanging out with the great families from the team. Watching USC beat Washington helped too 🙂 We flew so it made for a relaxing weekend, rather than hours of driving. More than anything, these are the times that I treasure- spending quality time with my girls.