Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station will host the annual Adidas Texas 7-on-7 Championships high school football tournament beginning Thursday afternoon. Organizers anticipate a local economic impact of more than $1.2 million as thousands of people descend on Bryan-College Station from throughout the state for the event.
The tournament includes 128 teams and is one of the first events held at Veterans Park since the completion of about $5 million worth of additions and renovations for the athletic complex that included two artificial turf fields and new parking spaces.
Dominique Powell, the director of sports and events for Experience Bryan-College Station, said the annual 7-on-7 tournament is a “faster-paced” opportunity to see top recruits and elite athletes from as far as El Paso and Amarillo come to town. He said it was important for the area that football players and those affiliated with the sport from across the state identify Bryan-College Station as the tournament’s regular home.
“The dollar goes so far as far as community impact goes,” Powell said of the tournament’s economic footprint, which his organization estimated at between $1.2 million and $1.4 million when combining hotel costs and other typical tourism spending.
“We’ll have local food trucks there, and we use local partners for T-shirts,” Powell said. “We use a lot of different vendors here locally, so the impact goes further — and we’re also bringing in around 10,000 people into the area over a three-day span. Especially in the middle of the week, that’s huge for restaurants and hotels.”
Powell said the tournament uses the entire park, and that College Station’s Parks and Recreation division rotates fields so as to limit damage on the grass surfaces.
Powell said Veterans Park hosted the 14th annual PrimeTime Sports 7-on-7 Tournament of Champions last weekend. That tournament consisted of middle school through junior varsity football squads.
“The cool thing about this 7-on-7 tournament is that they break it up into divisions based on school size,” Powell said.
Division I consists of players that compete on 5A or 6A teams in public schools and SPC or TAPPS Division I for private schools. That division’s teams begin competition about 1 p.m. Friday, with the championship game being played at approximately 4 p.m. Saturday.
Division II will be made up of teams that compete in 4A and 3A D1, as well as all other private schools. Division III will consist of teams that compete in 3A DII and below. Divisions II and III begin play Thursday afternoon, with title games being played Friday afternoon beginning about 3 p.m.
Adidas sponsors the annual event and provides every player of each team with an official tournament uniform.
Admission is free. According to the event website, there is no seating around many of the fields, so spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Tents are allowed in designated areas around each game field.