Dublin is hoping to intercept future events when a football camp comes to town next week.

Dublin is hoping to intercept future events when a football camp comes to town next week.

The Football University Top Gun Camp will bring 1,500 of the best middle and high school football players from the U.S., Canada and Europe to Jerome High School next week and Dublin is hoping to score return camps.

Scioto High School already hosted a regional Football University Camp in early June where the best of the best are chosen to go onto the Top Gun camp.

"Last year's (Top Gun) camp drew kids from 40 different states, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland and Canada," said Josh Bricker, sports and leisure sales manager for the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The bureau worked closely with others to lure the camp to town.

"They started the event four years ago," Bricker said. "All four years were in Williamsburg, Va.

"We worked very hard to get this. We worked very close with the city of Dublin and Dublin City Schools on this," he said.

"Our goal is to make this an annual and repeated event."

From July 18 to 20, 750 of the best high school football players will be at Top Gun camp and from July 22 to 24 the best middle school players will participate in the camp.

"These are some of the most skilled football players across North America," Bricker said.

"The only way to get better is to compete against other elite athletes," Bricker said.

"The chance to compete against other athletes of a high caliber makes them better."

Football players will stay in Dublin hotels, as will their families.

The latest numbers had 3,000 room nights booked in Dublin for the Football University Top Gun Camp, but Bricker expects 4,000 to 5,000 by the time it's over.

"This is definitely a family event," he said.

"These are middle school and high school kids so most parents wouldn't let middle school or high school kids travel on their own," he said.

"Most make this a family vacation. I talked to a family a couple of weeks ago who are driving from Texas."

The public is welcome to view practice at the camp and some families will spend time there, but Bricker said the Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working to show families the area.

"We're working with all the attractions, hotels and shops to make sure while they're here, there are plenty of things to do," he said, adding discount tickets to COSI and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be offered.

"Anything we can do to make this a memorable event and get them to come back year after year," Bricker said.

The convention and visitors bureau intends to bid to bring the event back next year.

"It's great for the city of Dublin," Bricker said.

"It's one of the largest events Dublin has ever held," Bricker said.

"I can't express enough how closely we worked with the city of Dublin and Dublin City Schools. Hopefully between this and some other events, we can bring more."