Sports tourism seen as way to bring money to Enid

City of Enid

ENID, Okla. — Enid is continuing to pursue sports as a means of raising revenue by attracting guests, and their dollars, to the city.

During Tuesday's Enid City Commission study session, Visit Enid communications coordinator Rob Houston discussed what the city has to offer in terms of sports, what more it could bring to the table, and the potential rewards it could reap by doing so.

Most visitors to Enid come on business. This is reflected in hotel and lodging, which lowers significantly on weekends and as weekends near.

Sports tourism could be the solution, or at least one helpful piece in improving this area.

Houston recapped a recent trip to a conference in Knoxville, Tenn., for Sports Events and Tourism Association, where he worked to raise awareness of Enid and what it has to offer the sporting world.

The upcoming west Enid soccer complex project was "a big hit," at the conference, he said.

While there haven't been any promises from any leagues to play at the complex upon completion, Enid has been selected to host the Region II soccer postseason tournament for 2019-2021, at Selby Stadium.

During his presentation to commissioners, he also touched on the possibility of expanding an Enid disc golf course in order to make it worthy of hosting competitions. To do so would require obtaining some land from Northern Oklahoma College Enid.

Additionally, he provided a brief update on 5 Eighty Trails. Work is ongoing on the 7-mile biking trail, but excitement around it is building, he said, adding there's a possibility that a BMX course could be coming to Enid in the future.

Ward 4 Commissioner Jonathon Waddell updated fellow commissioners on how the year's Community Development Block Grant funding of $424,000 was spent.

The largest blocks were $155,000 given to Making a Difference for youth services and facility improvements, and $125,000 to Community Development Support Association for emergency repairs.

Booker T. Washington Community Center was allocated $30,000, and YWCA Enid got $6,400 for furnishings. Emerson Middle School received $15,000 to help finance its Innovative Learning Studio.

"It's not enough to get them all the way there, but it will get them a lot closer,” Waddell said.

Enid Regional Development Alliance and Enid Parks & Recreation Department also benefitted from the funding.

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Willetts is education and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Mitchell? Send an email to mwilletts@enidnews.com.

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