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SBD/Issue 82/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Committee To Save WUSA Planning Series Of Soccer Festivals
Published January 19, 2004
|WUSA Committee Planning
Festivals To Drum Up Support
By Josh Rosen, Staff Writer, The Sports Business Daily
Former WUSA Boston Breakers President & GM Joe Cummings, a member of the committee trying to revive WUSA, said Saturday during a panel discussion at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention in Charlotte, NC, that his committee is planning three "soccer festivals" to be held in three different cities the weekends of June 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27. Cummings: "The festivals will showcase the players from the past WUSA rosters. ... We will be bringing all of the players in each weekend, so that any city hosting one of these festivals would know that they would have access to these players. There would be 64 players that would be playing in the festival matches, and another 26 players, or upward of 26 players, that would be available for all of the events around the matches." Cummings said the group has 22 RFPs out to communities, stadiums and organizing committees interested in hosting the festivals. Cummings said players will likely arrive in the cities on Thursday evening, with media opportunities and sponsor luncheons on Friday. Saturday would feature clinics during the day, followed by evening doubleheaders, with the players returning to their homes Sunday. Cummings: "It gives cities across the United States the opportunity to see that the WUSA is alive again in some form ... and we can keep the branding and the energy going of the league."
FUTURE: After the panel discussion, Cummings told THE DAILY that while WUSA teams will not have offices or a playing presence in their respective home cites, the team, "as an entity, the business component of it camps and clinics and youth teams and all of that is still in existence." Meanwhile, WUSA Founder John Hendricks will continue to make sponsorship presentations over the next four to five months, and Cummings said the league and teams will reopen their offices "if we find out that we're at a threshold as far as dollars." Cummings added that even if no sponsorships are sold, "We're still doing these festivals in '04. But that would be the end of the WUSA" (THE DAILY).