Teams Break In New Mohawk Park Soccer Complex
The first big tournament took place at Tulsa's Mohawk Soccer Complex this weekend.
The city broke ground on the complex back in 2011. Construction was completed in fall 2012.
Now some six months later, teams from across Oklahoma and surrounding states tried out the 17 new fields for the very first time.
More than 150 teams traveled to Tulsa to take part in the Friendship Cup.
"It's really, really nice like brand new and everything," Carson Lund, 13, said.
But it's not just players on the pitch. The numbers also include family, friends and volunteers, and that means money for the local economy.
Jeff Allen is here from Dallas.
"Earlier we had heard that Tulsa has a bunch of dirt fields, this is a lot better than dirt fields so that was good," Dallas resident Jeff Davis said.
As part of the Vision 2025 sales tax, the city developed nearly 350 acres of dirt into soccer fields, pavilions, bleachers and sidewalks.
But the topic on many people's mind was the parking situation.
"Facilities are great, surface is great, the only issue we had here is parking," Owasso resident Zack Livingston said.
"Like when we got here for a game yesterday, it was 30 minutes waiting to get into the facility," Allen said.
Parking problems aside, tournament director Robbie Mitchell said the city's $6.7 million investment fulfills a need for the city.
"The buzz right now for soccer in Tulsa is starting to grow," he said. "There's no question, we got half our teams here from outside of Tulsa because of the facilities."
Tournaments are expected to bring in over $2 million in local revenue each year.
And the city hopes that will encourage businesses like restaurants and hotels to move into the surrounding areas.
"There's three or four complexes like this around the region only," Mitchell said. "Instead of always having to travel places to play, we can bring people here."
There are also plans to host both high school and college tournaments here.
There's another youth event coming up in the fall that would bring in more than 250 teams from across the nation.