The May 24-26 tournament is expected to draw about 50 players from throughout the region, including Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C.
Players will compete in up to eight games Saturday and Sunday at Pennypack on the Delaware Park in the Northeast. Play is coed and all players will be grouped into squads according to skill level.
LBC committee chair Eli Fargione said organizers have seen an influx in the number of community businesses interested in sponsoring the event.
“We’ve had some great community support this year,” she said.
Falcons fans will have the chance to mix and mingle with LBC participants at a number of events throughout the weekend.
The tournament will kick off with a registration party from 7-9 p.m. at Stir, 1705 Chancellor St. Following Saturday’s games, the group will get together for a dinner and and will also celebrate the closing of the tournament Sunday with a post-game barbecue.
The Falcons started planning for the tournament at the beginning of the year. Falcons president Ed Argothy said the event raises the club’s profile, and that of LGBT soccer, throughout the region.
“Liberty Bell Classic is an event we’ve been developing for the last few years. Other cities have similar tournaments, and we thought it was time that Philly had such a tournament that brought in a lot of people and players from other cities,” Argothy said. “We’ve worked really hard to develop this tournament and are ready to show that we are on par with other clubs in terms of the level of competition and the excitement for gay soccer. It’ll be a nice tournament with a lot of great events for folks coming in from outside the city.”
Fargione added that LBC gives the Falcons the chance to show visitors what the team and the city represent.
“It’s a great opportunity to extend the welcome to Philadelphia from the Falcons and to show off what the city and the Gayborhood have to offer,” she said. “We go to tournaments in D.C., New York, Boston and Provincetown, so it’s nice to return the favor and show people a good time here in Philadelphia.”
For more information, visit www.falcons-soccer.org.