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Ribbon Cutting & Tournament


A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony took place Friday, June 10 at 4 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the new playground at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex (JARC). The ceremony kicked off a weekend of youth soccer tournaments, attracting athletes and their families from across the southeastern United States.
On hand for the ceremony was Mr. Bob Copeland, president of the Alabama Youth Soccer Association (AYSA). “On behalf of the AYSA, I would like to commend you on one of the finest facilities in the Southeast. Many people rate these fields as comparable to the fields at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The children’s playground is an additional feature to an already outstanding facility. The city of Decatur, the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Decatur Parks and Recreation Department have all been phenomenal to work with over the last five years and we look forward to maintaining the relationship for many more years,” said Copeland. The Jack Allen Recreation Complex has hosted AYSA’s Division I State Cup Preliminaries, Division II State Cup, and Division I Final Four tournaments in 2008, 2009, 2010, and will return in 2012 and 2013. AYSA is a member of the US Youth Soccer Region III and organizer of the 2011 President’s Cup.
According to the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 33 state, regional and national events have been hosted at the JARC, with nearly 13,000 room nights sold and generating an economic impact of over $7.7 million since 2006. 
The playground was designed and constructed by J.A. Dawson & Company located in Pelham, Alabama. It is modern in design, fully accessible, and features slides, swings, climbing areas, rubber surfacing – all the components for a kid-friendly play area. The area comes complete with landscaping, benches, and trash cans, provided by Decatur Parks and Recreation. Funding for the design and construction was secured by Senator Arthur Orr.   
The city of Decatur hosted the Region III qualifier of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup June 9-12 where approximately120 teams from across the southeastern United States traveled to the River City to compete for a spot at the US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup to be held next month in Des Moines, Iowa.  The anticipated economic impact for the four day event for Morgan, Limestone, Madison, and Cullman Counties should reach $3 million.
This will be Region III Presidents Cup second appearance in the state of Alabama. In 2006, the city of Decatur co-hosted the prestigious event with the city of Huntsville where over 2,500 soccer players and families filled hotel rooms across North Alabama. The 2011 event was played at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex and Spirit of America Fields at Point Mallard Park.
Region III consists of teams from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Texas and South Texas. The Region III qualifier determines the teams in the Under-14 through Under-17 boys and girls age groups that will advance to the US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup to be held July 14-17, 2011. 
This information was provided by the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and economic growth in Morgan County.  For information on special events and attractions in Decatur, contact the DMCCVB at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028; or visit its website at

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