By Beth Porreca | @worldlax2014
Summer is just around the corner! In the lacrosse community, that generally means one thing: tournament season is getting ready to kick off and teams everywhere are ready to become weekend road warriors to local, regional and national tournaments.
Growing up, our family summer sports tournament packing list was simple: rolling cooler of Gatorade, camp chairs, sunscreen, extra gear and an SUV full of kids ready to play anyone, anywhere, anytime. The memories of those tournament days have lasted me as long as the friendships formed on the road.
That passion for summer fun has led me to a pretty cool career. Now, when people ask me, “What do you do for a living?,” I flash a huge smile and tell them I run lacrosse tournaments. Seriously, pinch me. I’m still not sure it’s real.
The planning for this summer’s event season started four years ago, when US Lacrosse was named the host for the 2014 FIL Men’s World Championship in Denver, Colo. Now, at roughly 50 days out, our planning efforts have centered on creating the largest lacrosse event in the world, and we expect attendance of 100,000 people or more July 10-19.
To achieve all that at the World Championship, I’ll be the girl in the jammy pack with three radios, two cell phones, a binder of information, work gloves, a multi-purpose Leatherman and a sweet pair of Nikes. The shoes are key, because on an average event day everyone on our team clocks more than 7 miles on our pedometers.
In event planning, every detail is an important one, from the colors in the logo, to the parking traffic flow plan, to the bracket boards and tournament results. Every event planner wants to create the best possible experience for the guest, and it’s no small task. For this summer’s world championship, we are coordinating shipments from 38 countries, 1,000 or more volunteers and more than 100 semi-trucks full of gear ranging from seating and tents to beer and hot dogs. The load in and load out is like a well-choreographed motion offense — everyone is moving and working together as a team.
Event planners are taught to live vicariously through others. We strive to incorporate safety and customer service into every aspect of your experience, and we go home happy when you go home happy. The ultimate goal is that you, as a guest, will never see our behind the scenes choreography. If we do our job right, you won’t encounter any issues from the time you purchase your ticket, through your arrival on site and your departure at the end of the day.
As US Lacrosse has expanded our events platform, my summer packing list has changed slightly. There’s still a lot of sunscreen on it, and semi-trucks full of gear have replaced my family’s simple formula for fun. But one thing has remained the same: I love summer tournament season, I love seeing happy people and I love seeing people build memories and friends that will last a lifetime. I hope to see you in Denver this summer!
Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime lacrosse experience. Full-event tickets to the FIL World Championship represent the best value of all packages, and they’re on sale now. Purchase yours today.