For many committees hosting national tournaments, it’s about making sure the essentials are covered, and that’s precisely what Matt Robinette had in mind when he structured group packages to those attending the women’s club championships in Virginia Beach next weekend.
“I have to do all the travel for my club, Norfolk Blues, and we’ve been to Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Sacramento,” Robinette said. “And it’s hard. Assuming that most teams are like mine, the responsibility to organize everything falls on one person. So my thought process on these packages was that I always wished there was a one-stop shop to book everything.”
Robinette is the event supervisor for sports marketing at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, in addition to being the VRU men’s collegiate coordinator and active player/coach for Norfolk Blues (and husband to a Norfolk Storm player). He took on the project as a professional pursuit, as he’s tasked with bringing worldwide sporting events to the city. Robinette was able to sweeten his championship bid with funding from the city to cover the $4,000 field rental fees. He then used his industry connections to help set up team packages that include transportation (to/from airport, hotel, practices, games, team dinner and social), hotel, daily lunches, team dinner, tournament t-shirt and all-inclusive Sunday social. The per person fee broke out to $250 per person, and for more local teams handling their own transportation, an all-inclusive plan priced out to $170 per person.
Despite the advance notice and apparent convenience of these group packages, teams didn’t rally around the opportunity, and Robinette has had to adjust the offerings to an a la carte menu.
“I think teams were taken back by the $5,000 price tag,” Robinette surmised. “It’ll be interesting to see if players pay more than the $250 per person. There’s a huge discount in the van rentals alone. I discounted everything I could; we’re not trying to make money but just make things convenient. Our goal now has been to just break even, which is a 50/50 proposition.”
Robinette is willing to work with anyone who needs logistical help during the championship weekend, even individuals traveling to the city. For more information, contact Matt at
or call (757) 618-3839. For more information on the championship weekend, visit the Facebook group page here.