For Destination Marketing Organizations and Sports Commissions, third-party housing bureaus (and the restrictions on choice that they often foist upon communities and participants) are both a bane and a blessing.
A blessing, in that the host community doesn't have to deal with a time-consumptive cost of doing business. A bane, in that third-party fees and rules can often cause teams to choose other less restrictive destination tournaments.
And, the practice, long relegated to the conversations at industry gatherings, has just made the big-time as the New York Times has pulled the sheet off the practice of pay-to-play.
Not that Joe and Jill Public will understand the story. But, people in youth sports will.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
Thanks, New York Times.