Traverse City, Mich. — Plans to expand the Traverse Bay Area Youth Soccer (TBAYS) fields on Keystone Road got a $100,000 boost thanks to a five-year sponsorship announced today by Traverse City Tourism. 

TBAYS is working to expand the facility by adding up to seven more soccer fields and creating easier driving access to the complex. “We’ve been working on this for a long time,” said TBAYS board member Chad Fournier (For-nee-er). “This expansion will allow us to grow soccer in the area, get more local kids involved and keep the program affordable.” 

The expansion is driven, in part, to support two major tournaments hosted in the region. The Cherry Capital Cup and Autumn Classic Soccer tournaments each attract around 200 teams with close to 10,000 players and their supporters. Fournier said those tournaments are the biggest fundraisers for TBAYS and they help the sport grow and keep the costs down. 

“These Tournaments bring people to Traverse City during slower times of the year, driving millions of dollars in economic activity to our region,” said Traverse City Tourism President, Trevor Tkach (Tah-Koch). “Our investment in TBAYS will have a direct financial return for our community while providing local families with more accessibility to outdoor recreation. Truly a win-win for our area.” 

TBAYS recently got a long-term lease on the Keystone property by the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Department, and the lease is partly contingent on development of the fields. “This $100,000 sponsorship is our first major contribution to our development goals. From here we will continue to raise money and make sure our vision for the future becomes reality,” said Fournier.  

TBAYS provides soccer programs from ages four to 19 years old. The organization began over 30 years ago. An estimated 2,000 players and 1,500 families are involved annually. The programs include both travel teams and recreation leagues. More information about TBAYS is available at http://www.tbays.org/.