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Lee County Sports Development will host the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh) East Coast Finals at Germain Arena July 13-24, 2016.  Lee County Sports Development estimates that 199 teams from six countries will be traveling to Lee County for the event, including numerous teams from the Southwest Florida area. The event is free and open to spectators.

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Last year’s event generated approximately $3.4 million in direct economic impact and 7,000 hotel room nights. Lee County hosted the last two NARCh East Coast Finals at Germain Arena and has hosted the event more times than any other city in the U.S. or Canada. The 2016 NARCh East Coast Finals will mark the eighth year the event has been held in Lee County.

“We are excited to host a great NARCh competition once again in Lee County, and look forward to the positive economic impact this popular event will bring to our community,” said Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. “With top players and teams from across North America coming to Lee County, we know that our local economy and its community members will see great benefits from this championship event.”

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NARCh is considered one of the best inline hockey competitions in the world and draws the attention of fans worldwide. The NARCh Pro Division displays the best players in inline hockey and awards $20,000 in prize money to the champions. The competition offers teams for men and women, with age groups ranging from six and under to 45 and over.

Based out of Encinitas, California, NARCh was founded in 1994 and held its first finals in St. Louis, Missouri with 39 teams. For more information about NARCh, visit www.NARCh.com.

Lee County Sports Development was created in 2003 to meet the growing demand for sports development in Lee County, and is recognized by the Florida Sports Foundation as one of the state’s 25 Regional Sports Commissions. The Lee County Sports Development office leads the recruitment and implementation of amateur and professional sports events and activities in Lee County, with the goal of providing economic impact to Lee County. Through local partnerships with Lee County Parks & Recreation and others, the Lee County Sports Development office provides services designed to address the needs of local, national and international sports entities including housing, access to venues, event management, transportation assistance, event promotion, marketing and local sponsorship opportunities. For more information, call 239-533-5273 or visit www.leegov.com/sports.