Owensboro to host hundreds of visitors with city’s first Futsal tournament

In some big news for Owensboro’s sports tourism industry, the inaugural Bluegrass Futsal Cup is coming to the Owensboro Convention Center Dec. 17-19, marking the first use of the highly anticipated indoor sports flooring and the first tournament of its kind in Owensboro-Daviess County.

The three-day tournament is expected to bring in around 30 different teams from across the Midwest to Owensboro, including 300 athletes and 450-500 visitors in total.

Hosted by Owensboro’s SportsTutor Futsal Academy, this tournament should create an estimated $165,000 impact on the local economy.

Now what the heck is futsal?

Well, according the United States Youth Futsal program, “Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small-sided soccer game that is played across the world and is officially recognized by both FIFA and UEFA.”

Basically, futsal is indoor soccer with a few unique aspects of its own. It’s a five vs. five game played on a hardback, surfaced, basketball-sized court with a smaller, low bounce ball. The game is played with touchline boundaries and without walls.

“Futsal places a large emphasis on technical skill in high pressure situations, which can be translated into the outdoor game,” the USYF says. “The sport is a great skill developer as it demands quick reflexes, fast thinking and pin-point passing.”

According to Chris Gendek, Visit Owensboro’s director of destination development and sports management, the indoor sports flooring for this futsal tournament will be installed early this week.

“This indoor flooring allows us to extend our sports tourism beyond the warmer months, during what is typically a slower time of year for hotel room-producing athletic events,” Gendek said. “This opens the door for more opportunities, and a wider timeframe, to create an economic impact on our local economy.”

For the inaugural Bluegrass Futsal Cup, Gendek said there will be separate boys’ and girls’ tournaments in age divisions that range from U-8 to U-19. 

Even if you don’t know much about the sport, this is the perfect opportunity to come see it in action! Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 8 years of age.

As Gendek noted, this tournament is a huge opportunity for our community and, hopefully, this will be the first of many futsal events to come.

“Our restaurants win. Our shops win. Our hotels win,” Gendek said. “And when they all win, everyone wins.”