American Youth Football, a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation’s largest youth football and cheer program, and Collier County have reached an agreement that will bring the 2023 American Youth Football National championships to Paradise Coast Sports Complex.
AYF and PCSC have been working behind the scenes for months to finalize the partnership – which relocates the National Championships and its multimillion dollar economic impact to Collier County.
“We are excited to be moving our National Championships to Naples and the Paradise Coast Sports Complex, which is a world-class sports venue led by a world-class team,” said AYF President Joe Galat.
The AYF National Championships is the largest of its kind, with over 200 football teams competing in a weeklong event. In 2021, the event drew participants from 27 states, who will all stay in Collier County hotels, under AYF’s stay-to-play platform.
The move should generate over 20,000 room-nights to Collier County, based on AYF’s hotel usage in 2021, according to Osceola County’s visitor’s bureau: Experience Kissimmee, the former home of the AYF National Championships.
“Paradise Coast Sports Complex is proud to host an event of such significance and thank the AYF leadership for sharing our vision that this venue should have the biggest and best events in youth sports,” said PCSC general manager Adrian Moses. “The economic stimulus to Collier County that this event will provide can be attributed directly to Paul Beirnes and the Tourist Development Council, and their continued support of Paradise Coast Sports Complex.”
In 2019, Connect Sports named the event the “Best Amateur Sporting Event of the Year,” and Sports Destination Management named the event as a “Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism – Small Market Champion.”
The AYF National Championships is the preeminent global youth football organization and attracts the best youth football players – as 10% of the 2022 NFL’s first-round draft picks have played In AYF’s national championships or all-star games. Other notable AYF alumni include Kavon Thibadeux, Chris Olave and Kenny Pickett and 2021 Heisman Trophy Winner Bryce Young.
“Collier County’s development of PCSC as a premier sports destination, featuring 10 artificial-turf fields – including the 3,500-seat PCSC Stadium – and all the amenities, made the decision to move the event an easy one,” said AYF VP of Operations Craig Karahuta.
Despite the move of the AYF Football National Championships, the AYF Cheerleading National Championships will remain in the Orlando area.
Paradise Coast Sports Complex is located at 3940 City Gate Blvd. N in Naples, Florida. PCSC is inside the City Gate development on the northeast corner of State Road 951 and I-75. For more information, visit PlayParadiseCoast.com.