Posts tagged “sports tourism

Fall events move forward with focus on safety

By Katie Kwiatkowski, Tourism Events Supervisor

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has sought to safely conduct sports tourism events. Our seven summer events attracted more than 550 teams and brought millions of dollars into our local economy.

That success led to more events being scheduled this fall.

Our basic procedures remain the same — the city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining facilities, and tournament organizers provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators. And of course, our hospitality and unmatched operations staff continue to provide outstanding service.

Some of our fall events have been with us for many years, while others are newcomers. Of the three new events, two are with existing partners and one will see us work with an organization for the first time.

Here’s a look at the fall schedule with estimated participation:

OCT. 2-4, SOUTHWEST REGIONALS 2.0 (NEW EVENT) >> 1,360 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

OCT. 17-18, USSSA BUDWEISER INVITATIONAL >> 2,800 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

NOV. 6-8, 5 TOOL EXPOSURE WEEKEND (NEW EVENT) >> 1,360 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

NOV. 13-15, TEAM1 FAST PITCH (NEW EVENT) >> 1,600 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

DEC. 12-13, SOUTHAMPTON CUP – TEXAS >> 1,125 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex

DEC. 12-13, BCS MARATHON >> 2,000 participants
Wolf Pen Creek Park

We remain resilient and flexible while making public health and safety our priority. We continue to base our operational decisions on federal, state and local guidelines and directives.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/parks.

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Katie Kwiatkowski joined the Parks and Recreation Department in 2019. She previously served as sports services manager at BCS Sports + Events. A native of Brenham, Katie earned a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Rescheduled summer sports events can help us recover

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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Hospitality, venues drive thriving sports tourism industry

By Katie Kwiatkowski, Tourism Events Supervisor

People around the country recognize College Station as a special place filled with friendly, hospitable people and top-notch sports facilities. Those factors are the cornerstones as we attract well-attended, high-caliber events that substantially impact on our local economy.

College Station has become such a desired destination for sports tournaments that we see many events return year after year. In 2019, events we hosted attracted about 27,000 participants and recorded an overall attendance of more than 67,000.

We’ll host multiple events in the spring, including football, soccer, and softball. The frequent rain we experience each spring makes us appreciate the four synthetic multi-purpose fields at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Thanks to that worthy investment, we can accommodate sizable events even when bad weather rolls in.

Summertime is always our busiest sports tourism season. This year, we’ll host our most prominent football events in June with the Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase, Adidas Texas State 7v7 Championships, and PrimeTime Sports 7v7 Tournament of Champions. Softball and soccer tournaments will follow as we move into July and August.

In the fall, we’ll host bocce, softball, and soccer tournaments — most of which are recurring events — before we wrap up the year with the 10th Annual BCS Marathon.

Here’s a look at our complete list of tourism events for 2020:

2020 Sports Tourism Schedule

Jan. 18-19 Brazos Valley Elite Sports Group
Jan. 25-26 Brazos Valley Cavalry Tournament
Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 Soccer Youth All-American Series
Feb. 9 ODP Pool Training
Feb. 15-16 Premier Soccer Spring Cup
Feb. 20-22 NFCA Texas Leadoff Classic
Feb. 29 – March 1 Aggie Classic – NTFCA
March 14-15 USSSA “What’s Your Legacy?” (Aggieland Classic)
March 26-29 SPA Salute to Veterans NIT Tournament
April 25-26 5 Tool Spring Battle Tournament
May 1-3 USSSA Budweiser Invitational
May 16-17 US Club Cup
May 23-25 STYSA State Cup
June 6-7 Texas Youth 7v7 State Championships
June 12-14/19-21 Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
June 25-27 Adidas State 7v7 Championships
June 27-28 Primetime Sports 7v7 Tournament of Champions
July 9-12 Aggieland Classic SSUSA
Aug. 29-30 Aggieland Friendship Cup
Sept. 25-27 College Station Senior Games
Oct. 1-3 Special Olympics Fall Classic
Oct. 16-18 USSSA Budweiser Invitational
Dec. 5-6 Southampton Cup – Texas
Dec. 11-13 ODP: South Texas Regional Tournament
Dec. 12-13 BCS Marathon

With your valuable support, we can continue to attract significant events such as these to our growing community to fill our hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. When that happens, our entire community benefits.

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Katie Kwiatkowski joined the Parks and Recreation Department last summer. She previously served as sports services manager at BCS Sports + Events. A native of Brenham, Katie earned a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Jingle Bell Fun Run celebrates 30th year on Dec. 8

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

The Jingle Bell Fun Run is a fun run in its truest sense. The two-mile race isn’t timed and is intended to be a fun way to kick off the annual B-CS Christmas Parade.

Sunday, Dec. 8 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jingle Bell Fun Run and is an ideal opportunity to mark “competing in a fun run” off your bucket list. The event starts at 2:15 p.m., followed by the parade at 3 p.m.

The run starts at the corner of University Drive and South College Avenue and ends at the corner of Texas and Elm Avenue. We’ll have a shuttle waiting for you at the end of the route and, knowing how much dogs enjoy a brisk jaunt, they’re welcome, too.

To commemorate the run’s anniversary, we’ll feature more swag to complement your jingle bells and t-shirt so you can run (or walk) down Texas Avenue in style. The entry fee is only $15 and includes a shirt if you register by Nov. 17. The fee is $20 during the Nov. 18-24 late registration period, but you aren’t guaranteed a shirt.

Packet pick-up is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Join us as we celebrate 30 years of the fabulous Jingle Bell Fun Run. See you at the finish line!

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years and is in his second 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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Games of Texas benefit BCS by a cool $8.1 million

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The final numbers are in for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival attracted 8,461 athletes from across the state to compete in a dozen events from July 25-29.

Only 130 participants were from College Station, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $8.1 million into the local economy by filling local restaurants and hotels.

Participants by Sport

Event Participants Venue
Archery 49 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Boxing 114 Hilton College Station & Conference Center
Flag Football 276 Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
Judo 57 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Golf 65 The City Course at Phillips Event Center
Lifeguard Competition 60 Adamson Lagoon
Pickleball 92 Lincoln Recreation Center
Skateboarding 21 Williamson Skate Park
Swimming 2,638 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Track & Field 4,459 College Station High School
Ultimate Frisbee 440 Bryan Regional Athletic Complex
Tennis 190 Bryan High School, Texas A&M Mitchell TennisCenter, Texas A&M Omar Instructional Tennis Center, Phillips Event Center
Total Participants 8,461

Here are some interesting tidbits reported by the Bryan and College Station Parks and Recreation Departments, which partnered with Texas A&M to manage the event:

  • Athletes set 53 Games of Texas records — 42 in swimming and 11 in track and field.
  • Participants and volunteers consumed 38,304 bottles of water and used 27,160 pounds of ice.
  • Local sponsors donated 1,185 meals for participants and volunteers.
  • 162 volunteers assisted, including 44 from the Texas Army National Guard.
  • 331 tennis matches were played over three days.
  • 37 boxing bouts were conducted, four involving girls.
  • The lowest golf 18-hole single round score was a 74 by 17-year-old Ethan Galvan from McAllen. Ethan also had the lowest 36-hole tournament score of 74-82=156.

College Station played host for the seventh time after hosting previous events in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. The Games of Texas will move to Corpus Christi for the next two years and to Brownsville in 2022-23.

Local GOT Participation by Year 

2019: 8,461

2018: 7,621

2015: 7,750

2014: 8,438

On behalf of the Cities of College Station and Bryan, we extend a special thank you to our volunteers, TAAF liaisons, commissioners and Texas Army National Guard Warriors. The overwhelming success of the event is a direct reflection of your dedication. We sincerely appreciate your gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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400 athletes reach for gold at CS Senior Games

UPDATE (2/21): Due to expected poor weather conditions, the cycling event has been canceled. 

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Some senior athletes come out for the camaraderie, while others come to socialize and catch up with old friends. Others just come to experience the thrill of victory.

More than 400 athletes between the ages of 49-89 will go for the gold in the College Station Senior Games from Friday through Sunday at venues across our community. Participants include 345 visitors from outside B-CS and 117 women.  About 240 volunteers — mostly Texas A&M students — will help manage the event. (more…)