Local businesses flourishing during the NJCAA Division II soccer tournament

Local Sports

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Stryker Sports Complex has seen a lot of action the last two days. Fans have come from all over to watch the NJCAA Division II soccer tournament.

Twenty-four teams are competing. Twelve men’s and 12 women’s for the first time ever in one city, and Wichita is the host. 

“There’s about 650 student-athletes, bunch of coaches, parents, all here in Wichita for at least five days, so very excited to have them all in our city,” said Josh Howell, VP of Sports Development at Visit Wichita.

Howell said these dollars are key for local businesses who were hurt in the pandemic.

“They’re going to be here a long time eating in our restaurants, shopping in our stores, visiting our attractions in their downtime. So a very significant economic impact for the city of Wichita,” added Howell.

Christopher Williams is with the NJCAA. He said the tournament is drawing fans from all over the world. 

“Of the 400 student-athletes we have here, we have 32 different countries represented, and of those, at least 16 of them have come and came to watch their children participate in this tournament,” commented Williams. 

Aldo Gramendi traveled from Denver to watch his daughter play. 

“We’ve only been here two days, but my wife is looking at the houses, and she’s like to me we had to move here,” said Gramendi.

Howell said the goal is to keep our economy flourishing with more events like this. 

Will Williams expect it to return? 

“I definitely see us coming back to Wichita,” Williams concluded. 

Games will be played through Saturday. For more information, click here.

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