May 5, 2006 – Posted at 5:12 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- The Kohl's American Cup is the state championship for recreational division players. The CCSA in Jonesboro won its bid to host the event from the Arkansas State Soccer Association. The group is bringing more than just soccer balls to the Region 8 economy.
"You got 62 teams, an average roster size of 10 to 12 children so you have over 600 families coming in to spend the weekend in Jonesboro," said CCSA Vice President Bob Williams.
The fields are empty now but on Saturday, the fields at Joe Mack Campbell Park will be packed full for the Kohl's American Cup. Teams from across the state will be rolling into town for this weekend's tournament and while the children will be scoring goals area businesses will be scoring as well.
"We are fortunate to be able to sponsor and host as many of the events as we have in the area. We know for a fact that the dollar turns over seven times in your economy," said Cari White of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"I imagine the hotel and restaurants are going to be very busy," said Williams.
In addition to the Kohl's American cup, Jonesboro will also host ASU's graduation on Saturday. Combine that with the guests in town for the soccer tournament, plus a USSSA Softball Tournament and some visitors have been forced to stay in Paragould and Trumann because of a lack of hotel rooms.
"We have the best shopping in the area and we need the rooms to accommodate them because we want to keep them here," said White.
Despite the lack of rooms, which leads to the potential of lost revenues, Jonesboro will continue to search out conventions and sports tournaments that will bring visitors to the area.
"We position ourselves to really have an impact, to have a developer to build a convention center, and hotel here and that is what we want to do," said White.
It's a business plan designed to net more potential customers to an already thriving Jonesboro economy.
"Tournaments and visitors to our community are the absolute cleanest industry you can have in your area," said White.