7 on 7 Football returns to College Station
Thousands of people are in town for the event
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Summer activities and sports tourism are back in Bryan-College Station after a year break during the pandemic last summer.
7 on 7 action is back at Veterans Park for the first time in two years. Between 7,000 and 9,000 people are expected to be in town for the event, with 128 teams competing.
Players and parents we talked to feel safe even as COVID-19 has disrupted all our lives this past year.
“There’s always still a risk, but I understand a lot of folks have already taken the vaccines so that gives us a little bit of comfort, safety,” said Anne Marie Awasum. She and her family came from The Woodlands to see her son’s team.
“We continue encouraging everyone to take vaccines. I’m a registered nurse and so I really encourage everyone, especially the elderly if you have any immunocompromised in any way you know,” said Awasum. “If you have any disabilities or you know, any underlying diseases. I really, really encourage you to take the vaccine and even if not even if you’re healthy still take the vaccine.”
High school students like Daniel Benkovics are excited to get playing time. It’s his first year for football.
“My family’s got the vaccine so we, we’ve taken our precautions and we’ve all been very careful before,” said Benkovics, The Woodlands Christian Academy 7 on 7 Player.
Organizers think they can hold this event safely with all the space at Veterans Park. But there are some other health concerns they’re keeping a close eye on. That includes making sure athletes and spectators stay fully hydrated.
Even here in the shade the turf was clocking in at nearly 117 degrees before noon.
“What we’ll do is make sure if the temperature gets too hot we’ll have extra breaks,” said Dominique Powell, Compete College Station Sports Manager.
“The fact that were outdoors, it’s windy you know it’s better. It’s better. It’s a chance for us to spread apart and be six feet apart,” Awasum said.
Area hotels, businesses and the local economy will also get a boost. College Station tourism officials said this event historically brings in about $1.5 million.
The event comes during an important time of year when we see a summer slow down as a college town.
“What we try to do is make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward as a community. Both Bryan and College Station making sure we’re showing these visitors our best foot. So our restaurants, our grocery stores, even Academy. All of those are going to get hit,” said Powell.
The tournament continues Friday and Saturday.
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