Sports tourism in the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive another kick-off when a major league soccer team arrives next week for an exhibition match.
Four-time championship team D.C. United will play Bermuda’s national team on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Bethlehem Soccer Complex on St. Croix, the only (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) FIFA-certified pro turf pitch in the Caribbean.
The exhibition game, which kicks off at 7 p.m., is part of D.C. United’s five-day post-season tour of the territory. It is being coordinated by the Office of the Governor; Department of Tourism; Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation; U.S. Virgin Islands Soccer Association; and Events DC.
“Our new marketing strategy emphasizes sports tourism and St. Croix,” said Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, adding that the event will be “a major boost to the economy as the players, their families and season ticket holders explore the many attractions the ‘Big Island’ offers.”
“We are excited to have two professional soccer teams … join us here on St. Croix for their exhibition match. I truly feel this is a big step in the right direction for sports tourism, and I’m looking forward to seeing our locals come out and enjoy the game,” said Sports, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White.
On Friday, Nov. 15, players will join first lady Yolanda Bryan at a Health and Fitness Expo at D.C. Canegata Recreation Center on St. Croix. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 16, the team and their families will explore the island on a guided tour before leaving the next day.
Earlier this year, St. Croix hosted hundreds of junior tennis players, coaches and tournament officials for the first ever USVI Cup, an International Tennis Federation (ITF)-sanctioned tournament.
Later this month, the territory will host the annual Paradise Jam basketball event with the men’s tournament taking place from Nov. 22 to 25 and the women’s fixtures from Nov. 28 to 30 on St. Thomas.
On Dec. 8, St. Croix will host the Beauty and the Beast Triathlon, marking the 31st year that the island has hosted athletes from around the world for one of the longest-running triathlons on record.
St. John will leap into the 24th Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race Festival on Feb. 29, 2020.
Tickets for the soccer game are $20 and are available at Le Baron Men’s Clothier in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center, Jane’s Bridal Boutique across from Plaza Extra West and the One Love Service Station in La Grande Princesse on St. Croix. On St. Thomas, patrons can visit Urban Threadz for tickets.
Entrance is free for students accompanied by a parent or guardian.