Dublin lands 2013 'Top Gun Football Camp'
Dublin has landed what could be one of its largest events: the 2013 Football University Top Gun Football Camp.
The invitation-only football camp for the best 1,500 football players in grades 6-11 from the U.S., Canada and Europe is expected to bring 5,000 room nights to Dublin when the event is held at Jerome High School July 18-24.
"In terms of room nights ... this is 5,000," said Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Scott Dring. "The Memorial Tournament is over 5,000 (room nights) so it's right on par with that."
The Memorial Tournament usually keeps people in Dublin for up to a week, but the Top Gun Football Camp could draw people for longer, Dring said.
"The uniqueness to it is people staying here for a full two weeks and that's people who run it, coaches, also instructors for the event," he said.
"They're here for the whole week or two. It's more long-term stays than the Memorial Tournament," Dring said.
Players and their families will also stay at hotels during the event, Dring said.
The football camp was previously help in Williamsburg, Va., and is organized by the same company that holds the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The camp offers training to middle and high school athletes from current and former NLF players and coaches.
"The Presidents Cup definitely helped us land this," Dring said. "When they came to town on a visit we can show them we have international events."
Collaboration was also a factor in winning the event, as the DCVB worked with the city, Dublin City Schools and Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine who will provide medical services.
"It's a huge partnership," Dring said. "In case someone gets hurt, they'll be on hand with medical care.
"I think in terms of this event as a whole it is a great example of how to work collaboratively together," he said.
"Dublin stepped up and obviously the schools are letting us rent their facilities was a huge component that was very well received by the event. They saw a community coming together.
"They saw how important events are to us," Dring said.
"We were extremely impressed with the city's facilities, passion and its past history of hosting world-class events," Rich McGuiness, president and founder of All American Games, said in a news release from the DCVB.
Dublin will also play host to Football University's 2013 Ohio regional camp for the first time. The camp at Scioto High School from June 7-9 will bring 400 to 500 rooms nights to Dublin for the regional invite-only camp.
"Once we were able to land the national event they were so comfortable with us going through the process," Dring said.
"They have the event in the Cleveland area. ... It's not nearly as big, but still will be a lot of rooms for people from around Ohio and surrounding states."
With two Football University camps coming to Dublin next year, Dring is hopeful they could make repeat appearances.
"The last four years it was in Williamsburg," he said.
"They had no interest in leaving and had to be swayed to bring it someplace else.
"They love the location and love the facilities," Dring said.
"They thought it was an opportunity to grow that much more.
"We hope this is a long-term event. We hope it will be here every year. We hope this isn't just a one-and-out thing.
"This is an event, if we do it well, it can be here every year," Dring said.