In a major boost for soccer in the tri-state area, The Great Lakes Alliance (GLA), Great Lakes Tournaments, SPIRE and Erie Sports Center have joined forces to ensure that players in the region have access to 11 v 11 fields year-round. This partnership combines the premier regional soccer league and tournament organizer with two first-class soccer facilities.
The strategic partnership with SPIRE and Erie Sports Center, as well as GLA’s partnership with the CAPS Fieldhouse, gives them exclusive league access to the only four 11 v 11 indoor fields in the region for leagues, tournaments and college showcases.
Ed Bernstein, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Alliance, said, “It also gives us access to another 15 outdoor fields between Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, providing us the ability to host high-quality matches while reducing travel for families. The primary reason for the creation of the Great Lakes Alliance was to create a predictable and logical next-step environment focused on the players and their development. We are very excited about this partnership’s new opportunities for our clubs and their players.”
Troy Bingham, SPIRE’s Director of Soccer and Erie Sports Center owner, explains, “GLA, with both ECNL-RL and NPL platforms, is recognized as the leader in the region when it comes to league, tournament and showcase management. Working together allows us to strategically plan new events, invest in upgrading facilities and develop longer-term plans to grow the game and pathways in the region. We will now have the premier leagues being played at the premier facilities, which will only improve the standard of play and the player and parent experience.” The Great Lakes Alliance will be offering a new 11 v 11 regional soccer indoor league this winter.
The Great Lakes Alliance was formed in 2017 and currently has over 550 teams participating in its US Club sanctioned league. GLA has member clubs coming out of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia with approximately 8,500 players. GLA is a member of the U.S. Club Soccer National Premier League (NPL) platform, the ECNL-RL platform and the U.S. Soccer Federation.