News Flash Home
The original item was published from 7/28/2023 8:38:00 AM to 9/8/2023 4:03:35 PM.

News Flash

Chesterfield On Point - Archive

Posted on: July 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] International soccer friendly showcases River City Sportsplex as high-quality event venue

CD Aguilas players celebrate scoring a goal

Fans cheer during soccer match at River City Sportsplex

Since Chesterfield acquired River City Sportsplex in 2016, the 105-acre athletic facility has hosted thousands of athletes, coaches and families for a variety of sports tournaments.

It has never come close, however, to the atmosphere that existed there Wednesday night.

With thousands of fans singing, blowing horns, pounding drums and waving flags from start to finish, two Central American soccer clubs competed in the first FIFA-sanctioned international friendly ever held in Chesterfield.

After surrendering a goal 15 minutes into the match, CD Olimpia from Honduras rallied to beat CD Aguila from El Salvador 3-1 in the first leg of the 2023 El Clasico Centroamericano.

Following the final whistle, as players from both teams exchanged handshakes and hugs, fireworks briefly lit up the night sky along Genito Road.

Teams line up prior to the start of the soccer match

“This was a blast,” said Jimmy Murillo, the event’s organizer and promoter. “We couldn’t have asked for more.”

The clubs will play again Friday in Virginia Beach and Sunday in Manassas.

For Chesterfield, Wednesday’s event was a unique opportunity to both bring international soccer to the Richmond region – home to a rapidly growing Latino population – and continue to showcase River City Sportsplex as a high-quality event venue.

“River City is the hub for soccer in the region, and to have our residents and visitors experience the highest level of soccer right here in Chesterfield shows the power of sports tourism,” said J.C. Poma, the county’s director of sports, visitation and entertainment.

Sports tourism remains a major driver of commercial activity in Chesterfield – particularly at River City Sportsplex, which has generated $276.5 million in economic impact for the Richmond region since 2018 and made the county one of the most sought-after destinations on the east coast for sports-related events.

CD Olimpia plays soccer friendly against CD Aguilas

During fiscal year 2022, Chesterfield hosted 63 such events that included 253,000 attendees, generating $34.4 million in direct economic impact and $1.3 million in local tax revenue through an ongoing partnership with Richmond Region Tourism.

Chesterfield already has booked 83 sports events for fiscal year 2024, which began July 1.

“Sports tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S., and an important part of our ongoing work to diversify Chesterfield’s tax base,” said Clover Hill District Supervisor Chris Winslow, an avid soccer fan who traveled to Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month to watch two group stage matches in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

One featured Honduras’ national team, which beat Haiti 2-1 with a roster that included 10 players from CD Olimpia.

Winslow came to Wednesday’s friendly – a soccer term for an arranged exhibition match – straight from the Board of Supervisors’ monthly business meeting, accompanied by Dr. Joe Casey, county administrator. Both were impressed by the players’ skill and speed, as well as the ceaseless enthusiasm of the fans, many of whom were clad in either the orange and black colors of CD Aguila or CD Olimpia’s red, white and blue.

Clover Hill District Supervisor Chris Winslow celebrates with fans

“The atmosphere was electric,” Winslow added. “As we invest in enhancements to this facility, I look forward to Chesterfield hosting more events like this in the future.”

The $540 million bond referendum package that was approved last November includes funding for construction of four more fields (for a total of 16) at River City Sportsplex and other upgrades to the visitor experience, such as the creation of terraced seating on the large hill that overlooks Field 9.

“With the unprecedented improvements planned, I am confident our residents will see a national spotlight shine on River City Sportsplex and our continued commitment to making Chesterfield a great place to live, work, play and stay,” said Poma.

Asked why he chose Chesterfield to host central Virginia’s leg of El Clasico Centroamericano, Murillo noted the “beautiful” facility, but also the hospitality and cooperation he received from county staff when he first inquired about booking River City Sportsplex for the event.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and the way the county treated me, they’re No. 1,” he said. “It’s amazing. I feel like I’m home.”


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Chesterfield On Point - Archive

BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: January 25, 2024
2023 Year in Review graphic

2023: The Year in Review

Posted on: December 29, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: December 15, 2023
Springline Topping Out Ceremony

Topping Out at Springline

Posted on: December 1, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: November 17, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: October 26, 2023
Players challenge for control of the ball

Scenes from the 2023 Community Cup

Posted on: October 2, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: September 29, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: August 24, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: July 28, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: June 30, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: May 26, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: April 28, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: March 9, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: February 24, 2023
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: January 26, 2023
2022 Year in Review - Blog Graphic

2022: The Year in Review

Posted on: December 30, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: December 16, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: November 18, 2022
2022 Community Cup

Chesterfield hosts 2022 Community Cup

Posted on: October 31, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: October 28, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: September 23, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: August 26, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: July 29, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: July 1, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: May 31, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: April 29, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: March 25, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: March 11, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: February 25, 2022
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: January 28, 2022
2021 Year in Review Graphic

2021: The Year in Review

Posted on: December 27, 2021
BOS Roundup Graphic

Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: December 17, 2021
Element at Stonebridge Sign

Zoning 101: Navigating the Process

Posted on: November 8, 2021
Board of Supervisors Recap Graphic

October 27 Board of Supervisors Roundup

Posted on: November 3, 2021