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LETTER: GF committed to becoming sports city

This letter to the editor is in response to the Herald editorial “Grand Forks should commit to becoming Sports City” (Page A4, July 24).

Grand Forks Sporting Associations are committed to Grand Forks being a Sports City. Currently, there are several local organizations and associations providing numerous sports tournaments in Grand Forks, including the Grand Forks Youth Baseball/Softball Association, Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club, Grand Forks Adult Softball Association, Grand Forks Youth Hockey Association, Grand Forks Fastbreak Club and the Grand Forks Park District. Here are a few examples of the sporting events going on in 2014 in Grand Forks:

  •  This past spring, the Adult and Junior Grand Am Basketball Tournament brought 125 adult teams and 372 youth teams with 4,970 players to Grand Forks.
  •  This summer, July 11-13, there were three large tournaments (Youth Soccer, Youth Baseball, and Adult Softball) in Grand Forks attracting roughly 151 teams with 2,265 players to the city. 
  •  During this upcoming winter season, the Grand Forks Youth Hockey Association will be hosting roughly 14 tournaments attracting 235 teams with 3,995 players to Grand Forks.

These are just a few examples of tournaments being brought to Grand Forks by the local sporting association with support from the Greater Grand Forks CVB. This does not include any high school tournaments hosted by the Grand Forks School District. This also does not take into consideration the number of family members traveling with the players and the positive economic impact it has on Grand Forks.

However, we are only touching the surface of what could be offered if more facilities were available.

The need to finish current venues under construction and provide additional venues to grow these tournaments is prevalent. Local associations, along with the Grand Forks Park District, have taken the lead on providing these facilities but private fundraising can go only so far. Local economic development funds are needed to take the extra step to make this possible. The investment will pay off greatly.

This letter was written by six members of local sporting organizations: Brian Kraft, president, Grand Forks Youth Baseball/Softball Association; Erik Myrold, president, Greater Grand Forks Soccer Club; Michelle Hajicek, president, Grand Forks Adult Softball Association; Jody Hodgson, president. Grand Forks Youth Hockey Association; Jody Thompson, president, Grand Forks Fastbreak Club; and Bill Palmiscno, executive director, Grand Forks Park District.