Visit Wichita has secured Wichita as one of the regional qualifier host cities for the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships. The qualifying event will feature top teams from throughout the region competing for postseason football and will take place Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, 2018, at YMCA Farha South and Northwest High School in Wichita.
“We are excited to bring this event to Wichita, Kansas, later this year,” said Karen King, director of tournaments for LGS Football & Basketball Division. “Wichita’s love of sports and top-notch facilities make it a wonderful city for teams to compete in.”
The competition will attract hundreds of athletes to Wichita and is estimated to generate more than $500,000 in local economic impact.
“Wichita is proud to be a host city to teams who will go on to compete in the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships, and we look forward to providing a fantastic and energetic welcome to the athletes who will travel to Wichita,” said Brian Hargrove, executive director of sports development at Visit Wichita. “This event, along with many others hosted earlier this year, solidifies Wichita is a tremendous sports city capable of hosting sporting events of all magnitudes.”
Regional qualifying events will also take place in: Canton, Ohio; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Richmond, Va.; Sparta, New Jersey; Texas; Lincoln, Calif.; Valley Forge, Pa.; Mobile, Ala.; Seattle, Wash., Mesquite, Nev., and Denver, Colo. Teams will be represented from seven unweighted divisions, four weighted divisions, and three all-star divisions.
Teams that qualify will compete at the world championship in Canton and will take part in the national media day, a red-carpet ceremony with Gold Jackets, and the A Game for Life program that will provide character development to all athletes and coaches. The program was created by the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with Hall of Famers.
The national selection process is headed by former NFL General Manager, Ray Farmer, and National Collegiate Scout, Gary Howard. More than 2,500 top teams from across the country will be considered in 2018.
Teams will be formally announced later this fall. Last year, several active NFL players, NFL Legends, and Hall of Famers such as Ray Lewis, Rod Woodson and Andre Tippett surprised teams with guest appearances. More than 1,000 teams nominated themselves for selection in 2017.
“This world showcase event will bring the nation’s top youth teams and youth athletes together like no other and it will serve as a cornerstone property for football in America. With regional play, a blue-ribbon selection team and a final championship weekend in Canton, this is the ultimate in youth football,” said Richard McGuinness, who created the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on NBC, the Eastbay All-American Game and other top football properties over the past 15 years.
About Pro Football Hall of Fame
Located in Canton, Ohio, the birthplace of the National Football League, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution with the Mission to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History,
Promote its Values, & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. AAM accreditation is national recognition for the museum’s commitment to excellence and the highest professional standards of museum operation and public service. Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the globe travel to Canton annually to experience “The Most Inspiring Place on Earth!” that chronicles America’s most popular sport. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, also voted Top Tourist Attraction in Ohio, was named the Best Attraction for Sports Fans in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. Construction on Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, an $899 million development project that includes 10 main components, is under way in Canton to transform the Hall of Fame’s campus.
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the Greater Wichita area and advocates for the city as a destination, increasing travel and tourism as a key economic driver for the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2017 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.