ROUND ROCK, Texas - A lot of points have been scored on the main field at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex since it opened two years ago, but securing a three-year deal with the Big 12 is certainly a big win.
“It’s great for what we are trying to do, sports capital of Texas. And it’s really going to be a lot of fun," director for sports management and tourism Chad McKenzie said.
The Big 12 is returning to Texas for the first time since 2012 when it was hosted in San Antonio.
“This will hopefully snowball to where other events that want to come here and play here,” said McKenzie.
The Big 12 Soccer Championship will be held in early November 2020 and will kick off in late October 2021 and 2022. The multipurpose complex where the tournament will be played currently had 250 permanent sets that will be expanded to 1100. Additional temporary seats and standing room will increase the complex's capacity to 5,000.
“We think just in the area, the amount of soccer that’s played in Round Rock and the amount of youth interest there is, it's perfect for a quality tournament like the Big 12 tournament to come here,” said McKenzie.
The courtyard and side fields will be used by vendors and for other tournament events.
“You know I think it validates everything we preach and we day to day basis out here,” assistant operations coordinator Krystal Scidmore said.
Scidmore manages 15 employees and for her, winning the bid is no lucky shot.
“It just goes to prove that we don’t need to stop here, at the Round Rock multipurpose complex, there’s bigger things we can do and there is more that we can bring to this city,” said Scidmore.
The field is currently set up for a youth soccer event to be played this weekend. This complex is designed to be flexible for different types of events and is an example of how Round Rock is marketing itself as a sports destination.
“Not to put words into our mayor's... he says a lot of times, this is a pure form of economic development for our city,” said McKenzie.
In 2018, Round Rock generated more than $300 million in direct travel spending. From that, the city collected almost $30 million in tax revenue. By the end of the year, it's estimated new construction will increase the number of hotel rooms to more than 4,000.
“We say all the time, we don’t care where you come from, you just can’t go home tonight,” said McKenzie.
The extra hotel rooms will be needed because the fans expected in the stands for the Big 12 match will not be alone. Many more sporting events are scheduled for 2020 in Round Rock and those games are expected to bring in more than 60,000 athletes.