The Shindigz National Soccer Festival will once again return to Fort Wayne for its 19th year on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 17th, 18th & 19th. The festival will grow to include three sites in 2017: Fort Wayne Sport Club, the University of Saint Francis and Warrior Field on the campus of Indiana Tech. Top-notch high school and collegiate teams will again participate in the Shindigz National Soccer Festival, including Duke, Michigan State and Indiana. Full schedules are now available online at www.NationalSoccerFestival.com . Advance discount tickets can now be purchased at Fort Wayne-area Connolly’s Do It Best Hardware locations and Soccer Plus. As in years past, tickets can also be purchased at the gate on the days of the event.
Thursday, August 17th, is Parkview Health night at the Fort Wayne Sport Club. All tickets are only $5. The evening features a 4:00 p.m. Indiana Tech vs. Indiana Wesleyan match followed by a 6:00 p.m. contest between Duke and Xavier. The Bishop Luers’ High School Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Invitational also begins. Friday, August 18th, will feature a new event at 5:00 p.m. in the Auditorium on the campus of the University of Saint Francis. The “Ins & Outs” of Collegiate Recruiting will be discussed by coaches from all college levels and co-moderated by long-time Journal Gazette sports writer, Ben Smith, and Shindigz National Soccer Festival Director of Operations, Mike Roeth. A pair of exciting matches will follow at Bishop D’Arcy stadium: Saint Francis vs. Windsor at 6:00 p.m. and Michigan State vs. Butler at 8:00 p.m. The Bishop Luers’ High School Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Invitational play also continues Friday at the Fort Wayne Sport Club with games starting at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, August 19th, adds Indiana Tech’s Warrior Field as a venue for a Women’s match between Indiana Tech and Bethel College and continues some of the High School Soccer Invitational with games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. More High School games continue at the Fort Wayne Sport Club starting at 10:00 a.m. The evening will then culminate at Bishop D’Arcy stadium with a double-header. The showcase match of the day, Indiana University vs. Duke University, will start at 8:00 p.m. under the lights. Then, the Trine University Women will take on Huntington University at 10:00 p.m. in the final match of the Shindigz National Soccer Festival.
What began in 1999 has now become the nationally known phenomenon of the Shindigz National Soccer Festival. What was merely a soccer event has now turned into a full-fledged, grass roots community supported soccer celebration. Corporations, foundations and personal donations are the backbone of the festival. The beneficiaries of the event are the city of Fort Wayne for the national recognition it receives; the area youth for the hands-on interaction with the soccer players and coaches from national major universities; the local businesses of northeast Indiana, for the added commerce brought to the region; the area universities, for the added exposure and the average Fort Wayne citizen who knows nothing about the game, but loves to have fun in a family oriented atmosphere.
Currently, the Shindigz National Soccer Festival has evolved into a true community soccer celebration, including panel discussions with major university coaches, wide ranges of live entertainment, opportunities for youth involvement, food vendors and giveaway prizes; is now located at the historical Fort Wayne Sport Club, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, Warrior Field at Indiana Tech and the state-of-the-art Bishop John D’Arcy stadium on the stellar campus of the University of Saint Francis. Shindigz National Soccer Festival is honored again, this year, to bring top-ranked college soccer teams, along with highly prestigious high school teams, to Fort Wayne. Due to its great history, Shindigz National Soccer Festival has been recognized nationally as the premier event to attend for pre-season collegiate soccer.