A good move
The Hammonton Planning Board made the right decision when it approved the Betts & Betts LLC application to amend a previously- approved site plan that would allow three more weekends of soccer tournaments to be played on the fields of turf at Tuckahoe Turf Farm. The applicant asked for the previous agreement, which said “13 events a year and not more than two consecutive weekends” be changed to 16 events a year and three consecutive weekends, according to statements made by planning board solicitor Joseph P. McGroarty at the meeting on June 2.
The board granted the increase in the number of events and consecutive weekends. The Gazette agrees with their decision. These tournaments have brought people and what amounts to “sports tourism” dollars into Hammonton. The parents and young athletes can be seen eating and shopping in town, and this revenue has brought an additional boost to the local economy.
Consider this statement about an upcoming tournament’s economic impact made by EDP Soccer Executive Director of Tournament Operations Ashley Wells during the June 2 planning board meeting about an upcoming soccer event that is scheduled to occur this year:
“We were successful in obtaining a bid to host the U.S. regionals, along with Tuckahoe Turf Farm. Teams from I think 15 states will be coming to the Hammonton area to play in an event. The event runs from June 25 until July 1 … we are projecting an economic impact, just through hotels, gas, food and restaurants, etc. of around $10 million that week,” Wells said, noting that this is the first time the regional event has been held in New Jersey.
That level of economic impact is for just one soccer event in a schedule that now can go up to 16 events, thanks to the planning board’s decision. While every soccer event may not have the same economic impact, it is clear that having the events in Hammonton has created a new source of revenue that helps the entire community.