USA Field Hockey NEWS Greater Palm Springs...

Greater Palm Springs to Host 2014 and 2015 National Hockey Festival

Nov. 14, 2013, 6:24 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey has selected Greater Palm Springs, Cali. and the Empire Polo Club to host the 2014 and 2015 National Field 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. Approximately 5,000 athletes choose to forego pumpkins and pilgrims for a four-day hockey showcase celebration.

“Festival is an amazing event for the field hockey community and coming back to the West Coast next year will be a little bit like coming home,” said Karen Collins, USA Field Hockey’s Director of Events. “The fields are in immaculate condition at Empire Polo Club and the entire community is very welcoming. Together with our partners, the Greater Palm Springs CVB and Empire Polo Club, it will be a fantastic event.”

Several cities submitted bids, of which the Greater Palm Springs area 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.

“The entire destination is excited to welcome the USA Field Hockey Festival back to Greater Palm Springs in 2014,” said Scott White, President and CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The Greater Palm Springs CVB and our hospitality partners truly appreciate the opportunity to host this very important event.”

The National Hockey Festival returns to Greater Palm Springs after a four year gap. The Empire Polo Club hosted the event from 2006 to 2009, which has grown in player participation since. In 2014, the Empire Polo Club will host the world-known, premier event that is anticipated to draw over 9,000 visitors to the area.

“Since the last USA Field Hockey Festival was held in 2009, many of our hotels, attractions, airport and the host venue, Empire Polo Club, have completed significant improvements,” said White. “Festival participants will find more direct flights into Palm Springs, voted one of the top ‘Stress Free’ airports in the country in 2012. We are ready to welcome everyone to our oasis and share our new and improved destination.”

“Attendees and organizers alike will be pleasantly surprised by what is new and enhanced at the Empire Polo Club,” said the owner of Empire Polo Club. “To name a few items, we have acquired additional land that allowed us to create even more turf areas. A large, elevated viewing terrace that includes a regulation announcer’s box has been added field-side in front of the peaked tents. And, as we are known for, of course additional palm trees, lion statues, gazebos, fountains and columns have been placed throughout the venue."

The Empire Polo Club is a topnotch facility in a beautiful location for Festival participants. Increased airline service, renovated hotels, and blossoming new attractions and businesses were a few of the many deciding factors when selecting a new host city. Strong support from the Greater Palm Springs CVB and Empire Polo Club will promise a Festival to remember.

“USA Field Hockey is really looking forward to returning to the Greater Palm Springs area in a revamped venue,” said Steve Locke, Executive Director, USA Field Hockey. “The high level of professionalism from the staff in Indio 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 the Greater Palm Springs area.”

Accommodations will be booked by JBS Destination Solutions/Global Housing for their 17th 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. 2014 information will be available at the USA Field Hockey tent at the 2013 National Field Hockey Festival in Palm Beach County, Fla.!