Mercer park director asks for tournament funding
Mark Bryant, director of Anderson-Dean Park, asked the Harrodsburg City Commission for funds for a soccer tournament he says will bring in more than 1,000 participants. If funded, the tournament is planned for July 23-25. (Erich L. Ruehs/ firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Last year the city commissioners gave $10,000 toward the tournament,” said Bryant. He said the remaining balance was paid for by the Harrodsburg Tourist Commission and the Kentucky Sports Authority, each each giving $5,000. “This tournament will bring in an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people into Mercer County from out of state which means a lot of money will be going back into the community.”
Bryant submitted a proposal requesting as much funds as possible from the city.
If the funds are raised, this will be the second year Mercer has hosted the three-day long event.
Bryant referenced Mercer County’s Country Hearth Inn, Days Inn and Bright Leaf, all of which confirmed complete bookings the weekend of last year’s tournament. Restaurants, too, such as The Alamo, said considerably more patrons ate at their establishment during that weekend.
“I am genuinely concerned about getting people in from out of state for those three days,” said Bryant. “Just think of how much it will help not only our hotels and restaurants, but how many people will get to experience the rest of Mercer County and Kentucky.” Bryant’s list of teams last year consisted of participants from Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio to name a few.
Bryant’s address to the commissioners was as much of an inquiry into how to raise that same sum of money as it was an effort to determine weather or not the commission would once again pledge $10,000 this year.
Bryant said Tuesday at his office at Anderson-Dean Park that he is waiting to hear back from the Kentucky Sports Authority on whether or not they will contribute toward the tournament, and he has a meeting with the tourist commission on April 20. As of today, Bryant is not sure what amount any one of the three entities will put toward the prospective tournament.
“That’s why I asked the city commissioners if they would not only think about helping out again, but any options they felt could help us achieve our ends, which, in this case is raising the $20,000.” According to Bryant, the entire sum is necessary in order to put on the event. The expenses will go toward promoting the event through newsletters, websites, event calendars, in addition to providing a full staff for additional janitorial services and cleanup for the estimated 1,500 individuals attending the tournament.
“What else I like is the opportunity this event provides to our local booster clubs that can apply for the opportunity to attend the event and sell any given items,” Bryant said. He said last year, there were seven or eight different clubs and restaurants that set up food stand or sold items such as ice cream to raise money for their particular cause.
“I really hope we’re able to do this again this year. But either way, we’ll find out by the end of April,” he said.
The commission took no action.
Bryant said the commissioners might wait and see if he is able to raise money elsewhere so that they would be able to supplement the balance.