Palm Beach County to host 2012-13 National Hockey Festival

Aug. 08, 2011, 3:22 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – USA Field Hockey has selected Palm Beach County and the International Polo Club to host the 2012 and 2013 National Hockey Festival presented by CranBarry – a longstanding holiday tradition in the hockey community. For most families, Thanksgiving is about rituals, stuffed turkeys and football. For field hockey enthusiasts, the tradition is slightly different. Nearly 4,000 athletes choose to forego pumpkins and pilgrims for a four-day hockey showcase celebration.

Despite fierce competition, Palm Beach County emerged with the most compelling bid, promising to deliver an incredible experience for all in attendance, at a world class facility. National Hockey Festival remains the world’s largest amateur field hockey event, enticing athletes and families from around the world to travel to a sunny destination over the American holiday.

“Palm Beach County is thrilled to host the National Hockey Festival in 2012 and 2013,” says George Linley, Executive Director, Palm Beach County Sports Commission. “Palm Beach County is an outstanding sports destination and we are excited to be a part of one of the largest and most premier amateur sporting events in the world. The International Polo Club is a world class facility that is capable of hosting an array of international and national events.”

The National Hockey Festival returns to Palm Beach County after a six year hiatus. In 2005, Palm Beach County Polo Club hosted the event, which has only grown in player participation since. In 2012 and 2013, the International Polo Club will host the world known, premier event that will likely draw over 8,000 visitors to the area. Festival is anticipated to be the largest amateur sporting event to ever take place in Palm Beach County to date.

“Considering the number of athletes, coaches and friends that will travel to Palm Beach County during Thanksgiving weekend, this event will provide a major economic boost to our local economy,” says Linley. “The partnership between the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the International Polo Club, Global JBS and USA Field Hockey is a recipe for a great event.”  

The International Polo Club is a topnotch facility in a convenient location for Festival participants. Affordable airfare, same time zone for many East Coast teams and a quick flight south from East Coast states were a few of the many deciding factors when selecting a new host city. Strong support from Palm Beach County and the sports commission will promise a Festival to remember.

“USA Field Hockey is really looking forward to returning to Palm Beach County in 2012 and 2013 in a new venue,” says Steve Locke, Executive Director, USA Field Hockey. “The high level of professionalism from the staff in Palm Beach County will ensure a premier event. Hockey Festival is an epic event as it is the largest of its kind in the world. We look forward to planning a first class event with our friends in Palm Beach County.”

Accommodations will be booked by JBS Destination Solutions/Global Housing for their fifteenth consecutive Festival, continuing their long standing relationship with field hockey clubs and families. While Thanksgiving weekend next year seems far off, the planning begins now. The 2012 and 2013 National Hockey Festival will surely be a paramount event that has the ability to go down in the record books as the largest and most remembered Festival to date.