By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager
What does a sports event or tournament look like in the era of COVID-19? As participants, coaches, and spectators, we’ll soon find out.
Through his executive orders, Gov. Greg Abbott has paved the way for adult and youth sports competitions to begin. The City of College Station will host its first tournament June 19-21 with more than 100 girls’ softball teams from around the state.
The challenges of recent months have led us to this point. Typically, our tournament season ramps up in April and runs through the end of July. Since the pandemic began, our goal has been to bring tourism back to College Station while maintaining the safety of our citizens, guests, and staff.
Our department has had exhaustive meetings with local health officials and tournament organizers to ensure safety guidelines and protocols laid out by the governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are met or exceeded. The city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining our facilities, while tournament organizers will provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators.
In March, we halted eight tournaments slated to bring about 400 teams to town. Our team worked diligently to reschedule several of the events, allowing us to keep about 300 teams. Along with three new tournaments — attracting about 150 teams — we maintained millions of dollars of economic impact in our community.
Here’s a look at our summer schedule:
- June 19-21 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
- June 27-28 — Tournament of Champions 7v7 Football
- June 27-28 — USSSA Budweiser Invitational
- June 30-July 3 — Battle for Texas 7v7 Football
- July 7-12 — SSUSA Senior Softball
- July 11-12 —The Summer Games 2020
- July 17-19 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
- Aug. 1-2 — The Summer Games 2020
- Aug. 29-30 — Aggieland Friendship Cup
We’ll continue to adapt to the evolving situation by adjusting our operations. Our overriding mission is to safely bring customers to town while helping our residents and businesses recover.
About the Blogger
Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 13 years and is in his third year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.
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