Veterans Park To Get $3.7 Million Upgrade

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Veterans Park may be a quiet getaway most days of the week but on weekends, thousands come to the park to get outdoors.

It's also a hub to host sports tournaments from across the state and with the addition of two artificial turf fields members of the city are hoping to score even more tournaments.

"Our hope is that by adding these facilities, we'll have enough in one spot to bring in major tournaments," said David Schmitz, Director of Parks & Recreation for College Station.

Schmitz says the two fields along with additional parking will cost the city $3.7 million but could help bring a big summer event back to College Station.

"The 7 on 7 event not going to A&M became a catalyst for us to actually push this project forward," said Schmitz.

Due to SEC rules, the annual 7 on 7 football tournament held at Texas A&M for 15 years will move to Round Rock this summer.

"We definitely will feel a little bit of an impact that 7 on 7 left this year," said Shannon Overby with the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Overby estimates this year the city will lose out on the tournament's economic impact of about $900,000.

But with the addition of the two artificial turf fields and the scheduled return of the tournament in 2014, the possibility of keeping it here could be a touchdown waiting to happen.

"We feel pretty confident that they'll have us on a rotation or come back for good," said Overby.

"Once we get them back, we want to keep them," said Schmitz.

The city is paying for the fields with money already collected by the hotel/motel tax and construction will begin this summer. Two more additional artificial turf fields will be added to Veteran's Park in 2014 to bring the total number of fields available for use up to 13.