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Field Conditions Move American Cup

Clinton Misses Out of Economic Windfall

May 4, 2009

The city of Clinton, Mississippi missed out on a major economic payday when the Kohl’s U.S. Youth Soccer American Cup, scheduled to be held at its city-owned Traceway Park, was moved to the city of Brandon after concerns over the playing surface.

Citing fields that have "very little grass on the surfaces, or settled areas that will need to be repaired with top dressing," Mississippi Soccer Association executive director Brent Clements decided to move the tournament to a new venue, according to Clinton News.

American Cup

Clinton will miss out on countless dollars that could have potentially been pumped into the local economy from the tournament. From hotel revenue to restaurant and foot store traffic, the loss will be substantial, according to Dianne Newman Carson, the executive director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

"It's extremely unfortunate for our restaurants and hotels, but it's not just them,” she told Clinton News. “It's grocery stores, convenience stores ... People zoom in and pick up Gatorade and snacks to take back to the field. It benefits convenience stores up to Kroger and Wal-Mart."

The decision was made on April 22 to move the May 1-3 tournament, which would have brought116 teams and their families to Clinton, according to Clinton News. The paper also reported that the Clinton Soccer Association would have handled concessions, meaning the organization lost a handful of money as well.

The fields at Traceway Park never recovered from a late February tournament and it would cost about $20,500 "to bring the fields back to playing standards," Ray Holloway, Clinton Parks and Recreation director, told Clinton News.

The Western District tournament in Clinton held last week was relocated to Brandon after rainy weather tarnished the Clinton fields. The next soccer tournament scheduled there is the Sept. 25-27 CSA Fall Invitational.

According to Clinton News, the relocation comes as some people have expressed dissatisfaction that Parks and Recreation has not overseeded soccer fields in recent years.

"It was Parks and Recreation's decision not to overseed for the past three years," veteran soccer referee Chuck Weiss, who is scheduled to work the Kohl's Cup tournament, told Clinton News.

Having to travel now to Brandon will be a hardship on his family and others, Weiss told the paper. "Two of my children are playing in the tournament. Now, we'll have to drive back and forth through the day, or just stay the whole day."

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