Soccer tournament to bring thousands to South Bend

SOUTH BEND An annual soccer tournament is expected to bring in thousands to the South Bend-Mishawaka area over Memorial Day weekend. The 37th Memorial Day Invitational (MDI) will draw in club soccer teams from the region.

The Junior Irish Soccer Club is hosting the holiday weekend tradition at the facilities at 5200 Nimtz Parkway on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 7 a.m.

Teams from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Arizona and Canada will compete in various levels of play.

With attendance expected to reach between 10-16,000, the MDI brings a big boost to the economy.

"We're told through our friends at Visit South Bend-Mishawaka that our event is the 2nd leading grossing event for the economy next to a Notre Dame home football game," said Michael Lacognato, the tournament director.

"We're looking anywhere between $2-4 million for this weekend."

The tournament is also a major fundraiser for the Junior Irish Soccer Club. Some of the proceeds go to help area youth pay for club fees.

The event has grown over the last three decades. This year, organizers decided to cap the number of teams invited to around 200.

Click here for more information about the MDI or the Junior Irish Soccer club.

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