Buffalo has been named the host city for the 2017 Gaelic Games Association Continental Youth Championships. A weekend tournament of Gaelic football and hurling competitions involving more than 3,000 youth athletes and up to 250 teams will take place at the West Seneca Soccer Complex July 26-31.
Approximately 18,000 visitors from around the U.S. and Canada are expected to travel to Buffalo for the event, generating nearly $1.9 million in economic impact. The CYC is the highlight of the youth GAA calendar every year in North America and Canada, according to Padraic Walsh, chairman for the 2017 CYC local organizing committee.
"We are ecstatic to host this event in Buffalo," he said. "For the first time in CYC history, Buffalo will be the first city awarded the games that have not been in the traditional rotation between New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
"Our local organizing committee and the Buffalo Fenians Club are committed to the promotion and preservation of the Gaelic Games."
"The Gaelic Games' decision to come to Buffalo is yet another example of why our region is a premier sports destination," said Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. "Our incredible facilities, hotels and services allow us to vie for top-tier amateur athletic events."
The mission of the GAA is to introduce Gaelic Games to a broader audience and to offer alternative games to youth, according to Paul Mulcaire, a CYC voting board member.
"Having the 2017 CYC Gaelic Games in Buffalo will be a perfect complement to this mission and light the way for smaller clubs and communities to host future CYC events," he said.
Buffalo's proximity to Canada will likely generate new interest among Canadian audiences, according to Sean Harte, president of GAA Canada.
"With Buffalo hosting the 2017 Games, this allows for the smaller clubs in Canada better accessibility to attend the CYC for the first time," he said. "Our goal in Canada now is to be sure that we have one of the largest representations of youth in the Games."
More information will become available at: www.buffalofenians.com.
The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission is a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara that promotes Buffalo and Erie County nationally and internationally as a premier sports tourism destination for the economic benefit of the community by boosting hotel occupancy and encouraging visitor spending.
Formed in 1884, The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is Ireland's largest sport and cultural organizations that is celebrated as one of the greatest amateur sporting associations across the world. The Buffalo Fenians, a nonprofit local affiliate of GAA, have embraced the Games and have been coordinating competitions for the community since 2005.
There is evidence this has even dated back to 1922.