COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Below freezing temperatures isn’t something Texans experience often.
An event expected to bring in a couple million dollars to the Bryan College Station community is still happening, even with the threat of chilly weather and reported icy roads across the Brazos Valley stretched over the weekend.
The City of College Station estimates an influx of nearly 8,000 people will be in College Station for the Texas Youth Allstar Football Showcase happening this weekend.
Many of those individuals making their way into town are numerous young children participating in the outdoor activities.
The chilly elements and potential hazardous driving conditions have many parents wondering why the event hasn’t been canceled.
“It’s Texas. You never know what you gonna wake up to,” one mother at the event said.
Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is welcoming thousands into Bryan College Station this weekend to cheer on youth competing on the gridiron.
“There were a few that were unable to make it, but we probably have 110-115 teams right now. All different age groups 7u-13u traveling everywhere from Louisiana, all parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas,” Gene Ballew, Athletics and Tourism Manager with the City of College Station’s Parks and Recreation Department said.
Gene Ballew with the City of College Station says they worked with local officials, event organizers, monitored the weather and made some scheduling adjustments to make sure the the games could carry on safely.
“This was actually originally supposed to be a 3-day event, so we were going to have championship games on Monday. Monday is the worst for our weather, so we canceled those games and we are trying to get finished by 5pm on Sunday,” Ballew added.
Ultimately, event organizers decide whether or not the teams will play, leaving some parents happy their kids will compete.
“I think it’s an experience for the boys. My husband says they play football in the elements. Honestly. So they play in rain, snow, everything. So this is an experience. They are going to play in the cold one day,” Sherell Youngblood, a Louisiana resident and mother of a player in the showcase said.
While other parents say the games should have been moved to a different weekend.
“I think it should have been postponed. Not canceled because of the money that went into it, but it should have definitely been postponed,” Martina Johnson, another Louisiana resident and mother of a player in the showcase said.
Even though the games weren’t postponed, event organizers recognize there are some challenges.
“Obviously, the weather is not ideal. I know it’s a sacrifice for everyone to be out there, but it’s also kind of a blessing too because the weather is forcing everyone to wear their mask…. I do feel good about that, that we are not spreading COVID or anything while we are out here,” Clayton Guillory, President of the Texas Youth Football Allstar Showcase said Saturday.
Because of the games and the people attending, the local economy is receiving a boost.
The city says every hotel room in both Bryan and College Station has been booked for the weekend and the event is expected to contribute $2 million to the local economy.