Heads up, Springfield! A record number of teams - 216 - are registered for the Lake Country Soccer Ozarks Coca-Cola Dr Pepper Cup tournament Friday-Sunday.

The previous record was 188 teams, said John Markey, director at Lake Country Soccer.

“That brings roughly 450 more families to the Springfield area than we had last year, which equates to another 1,500 people coming to Springfield from the outside,” Markey said.

Markey, who said volunteers are needed for the tournament, attributes the growth to having a history of producing good tournaments and the addition this year of using fields at Evangel and Drury universities and Springfield Public Schools.

Along with the soccer teams, Springfield will welcome nearly 50 teams for U.S. Specialty Sports Association baseball Saturday-Sunday at Cooper Baseball Complex.

“It will be a very active weekend in sports in Springfield,” said Lance Kettering, executive director of the Springfield Area Sports Commission and sports sales manager at the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.

With about 8,000 people expected to attend the soccer tournament and 1,000 at the baseball games, local businesses could score this weekend, especially those that cater to families and hotels where more than 2,000 room nights are booked.

According to the Destination Marketing Association International Event Impact Calculator, the soccer tournament will have an estimated impact of about $1.7 million in Springfield with an additional $135,000 expected from the baseball tournament.

“Sports travel and tourism is important to our community,” Kettering said. “These events are just one example of the power of sports travel and tourism.”

Along with amateur sports events, the CVB, which manages the Sports Commission, brings many other group events to the city. Large events coming soon include:

  • April 26-29 – Spyderfest, 2,500 attendees, 2000 room nights
  • May 2-8 – Heart of America Conference Baseball Tournament, 1,100 attendees, 1,400 room nights
  • May 5-7 – Missouri Youth Soccer Association Spring Presidents Cup, 2,700 attendees, 1,150 room nights
  • May 26-28 – National Street Rod Association Mid-America Street Rod Nationals, 5,000 attendees, 3,690 room nights

To see a list of even more groups headed this way, visit http://bit.ly/inipost.

The CVB and Sports Commission are nonprofit marketing organizations dedicated to boosting the local economy through growth in travel and tourism in the Springfield area. For more information, call 417-881-5300 or visit www.SpringfieldMo.org or www.SpringfieldMoSports.org.

To volunteer for the soccer tournament, call Lake Country Soccer at 417-862-3211.