Blackpool is preparing to welcome 350 youth football teams and over 10,000 attendees during Easter and May Day bank holiday weekends as they return for Blackpool Cup tournaments.
Blackpool Council and VisitBlackpool will once again host the events in partnership with Euro-Sportring, Europe’s largest international youth football tournament organiser.
The tournaments will bring a major boost to the local economy as well as showcasing Blackpool’s credentials as a family-friendly resort, capable of hosting major international sporting events.
Teams are travelling from seven countries across Europe, including Netherlands, Poland, Ireland and the four home nations together with more than 70 local teams in which is sure to be an exciting festival of football and fun.
Both weekends kick off with an official opening ceremony at the iconic Blackpool Tower Circus, the first on Friday 7 April, the second on Friday 28 April. Matches will be played over both weekends at the excellent new facilities on Common Edge Road at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and UCLan Sports Arena.
This year the Blackpool Cup is supporting two local charities, the NHS Blue Skies Hospital Funds and Blackpool Carers along with the Butterfly Tree Charity in Zambia. There will be donation stations set up for people to bring along any old kit and boots, which will be sent out to Zambia after the competitions along with the tournament match balls.
Gavin McIntyre, Euro-Sportring UK Tournaments Director: “The tournaments are really growing each year and we are very grateful and proud to work with VisitBlackpool and Blackpool Council. It’s a real international football celebration for the whole family to enjoy.”
A VisitBlackpool spokesperson added: “We are delighted to welcome so many young footballers and their families and friends to enjoy not just our excellent new sports facilities, but also everything else that Blackpool has to offer away from the pitch. These weekends promise to be a real celebration of fun and football.”
Highways information for Common Edge Road
As with last year’s successful event, there will be a designated extended car park at Jepson Way which will be clearly signposted on all approach routes, and two clearly signposted shuttle bus and coach drop off areas at Wren Rovers that will help to keep the traffic flow moving. Before the event all participating teams will receive a welcome pack with full instructions on where and where not to park, and a detailed map of the tournament site.
Work is still ongoing to create the new road junction at Division Lane to lead to the new changing rooms, so as a temporary solution we will suspend all highways works and the temporary traffic lights on Common Edge Road during both weekends of the competition.
Nevertheless, we are expecting some localised traffic disruption in the area, especially at peak times when the teams are arriving and leaving the tournament by car, shuttle buses and coaches. With local residents and businesses in mind, we have put together a detailed traffic management plan, to help reduce congestion in the area, which will be implemented by a team of 20 traffic marshals, directing traffic and pedestrians to the safety of the tournament site.
The traffic lights at the junction of Jepson Way and Common Edge Road will also be manually operated during peak times, to optimise traffic flows and reduce delays, as well as advance warning signs to direct traffic to alternative routes.
We hope this is all self-explanatory and clarifies the measures that have been put in place to mitigate against any disruption during the events.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email@example.com ahead of the event and we will do our best to help. It promises to be a very exciting tournament, combining a fantastic football experience and family seaside fun.