Over the weeks leading up to the 2013 NPL Champions Cup, we will be taking a look at all aspects of the tournament through a multi-part Web series each Thursday. Part I took a look back at the inaugural event last year.
To keep up with the series and other NPL news:
- Follow @USClubSoccer on Twitter and use the hashtag #NPL
- Like US Club Soccer on Facebook, interact on KYCK and subscribe on YouTube
It takes a special venue to host the NPL Champions Cup.
From July 18-22, champions of each of the 17 National Premier Leagues will converge on one location for five days of competition to determine national champions.
What's more, the event is held alongside the National Cup XII Finals, meaning more than 200 top teams from across the country will need room to play and prepare.
That's where Aurora Sports Park comes in. The facility in suburban Denver will serve as the host for the 2013 NPL Champions Cup and National Cup XII Finals, and it is no stranger to big events, having held the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championships in 2011.
"We're excited to have Aurora Sports Park as the site of our NPL Champions Cup and the National Cup XII Finals," US Club Soccer Director of Event Marketing and Operations Leo Garcia said. "They have high-quality fields and a proven ability to host major national events, and we're looking forward to another great summer."
The 220-acre park hosts a variety of local, state and national competitions, with 23 soccer fields and amenities that include seven picnic shelters, five concession areas and four playgrounds.
Aurora Sports Park welcomes more than 350,000 visitors annually, also putting on competitions for baseball, softball, cross country, football, rugby, lacrosse and more.
This summer, it will become the second venue to host the NPL Champions Cup, US Club Soccer's league-based national championship competition, as the inaugural event was held last year at Waukegan Sports Park in suburban Chicago.
Stay tuned for next week's entry in the series, which will focus on the qualifying process teams must navigate to reach the NPL Champions Cup.