TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It’s a familiar thing for many. The smell of freshly cut fields and orange slices, the sound of the referee’s whistle, and the view of teams as far as the eye can see - a good, old-fashioned soccer tournament. This year thousands of soccer players will experience that at the 29th annual Fort Lowell Soccer Shootout at the Kino Sports Complex.
The tournament starts Friday, Jan. 18 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 20 with around 4,200 kids from around 300 different teams expected to participate. Those teams are coming from southern Arizona and elsewhere - places like Flagstaff, New Mexico, and west Texas. In light of that the tournament’s director Billy Mordka shared a message he has for local Tucsonans.
“You get an influx of people from out of state, out of town. Just be nice to everyone, have a little more patience at the stop lights, give everyone a big Tucson hello and just welcome them to the city,” he said.
Whether you’re planning to come to the tournament or not, though you’ll likely feel the impact. Traffic will be packed and redirected by law enforcement according to Mordka, and along with that anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 people are expected at the opening ceremonies. Mordka says those thousands of people are responsible for about $4 million getting pumped into the local economy and nearly 2,000 rooms booked at local hotels.
If you’re looking for more information on the tournament there’s one new way to check that out - the tournament’s new app called RSL-A. It has the tournament schedule, standing, tournament maps and more.