Teams descend on Baton Rouge for US Youth Soccer Region III Championships _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The Futboleros' Alexander Mendoza performs for the crowd during the opening ceremony of the US Youth Soccer Region III Tournament on Thursday at the Baton Rouge River Center. The Futboleros are a soccer entertainment company based in Los Angeles.

Hotels took in $6.7 million in revenue during last month’s regional youth soccer tournament in Baton Rouge — a 41 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

The figures from lodging industry firm STR are for June 19-26. Local hotels collected $4.8 million for the same period in 2013.

The first day of the tournament saw the largest increase in hotel occupancy, at more than 43 percent over the same day in 2013. In addition to the soccer tournament, the information covers all meetings and events in the Baton Rouge area, including current movie productions and leisure travel, during this time period.

Held at the Burbank Soccer Complex, the 2014 U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Championships drew thousands of soccer players, fans and families from 11 Southern states.

“The tournament was a perfect book-end to the success of this year’s Bayou Country Superfest and the Miss USA pageant. We knocked a homerun every time,” said Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. “Thanks to the hard work of many people throughout Baton Rouge, including the city-parish of East Baton Rouge, BREC, the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, the Louisiana Soccer Association and the volunteers and staff of the Baton Rouge Soccer Club.”

Editor’s note: This story was changed July 25, 2014, to correct Visit BR’s omission of the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation from the list of groups working on the tournament.