For 25 years, they’ve come. They’ve come from Obregon and England, from Thailand and Hermosillo. They’ve come from across the nation, across the State and across our town. The Tucson Association of REALTORS® Shootout, presented by Fort Lowell Soccer Club has hosted tens of thousands of youth soccer players and added millions of dollars to the Tucson economy.
The tournament, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary this January, was founded by local builder Bill Viner of Pepper Viner Homes. He’d was tired of taking his soccer team to tournaments where they only met their competition on the field and struggled to find a restaurant that could serve the whole team at the same time. Viner wanted a tournament that was different. The Shootout was born with a Friday night festival that included an Olympic style Parade of Athletes, a soccer Olympics competition that brought teams together and a midway offering Tucson’s favorite foods. It’s a formula that has worked since day one.
The Shootout brought 349 teams to Tucson this January and added over $4 million to the local economy. “We are proud of what we do for Tucson and proud that the Shootout has always had a policy of giving back to the community,” said Tournament Director Diana Cannon. “This year we celebrated the lighting and completion of new soccer fields at Doolen Middle School, fields that the entire Tucson soccer community will use”, she continued. The fields were the culmination of the work of Fort Lowell Soccer Club and funded by proceeds from the Shootout and donations from the Tucson soccer community.
“Bill’s vision of a tournament that offers more has been a lasting investment in our youth and our community,” Cannon concluded. “The Friday night celebration has proven to be a formula for success from the first year to our 25th anniversary and it will continue far into the future.”