The steady downfall of rain has led to an opportunity for the TBK Bank Sports Complex to shine.
The Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau and sports complex announced Thursday the first weekend of the Iowa Soccer Championship Series State Cup and President's Cup will relocate to the 77-acre facility in Bettendorf.
The two-day tournament, which begins Saturday, will include both girls and boys 15U-19U teams. All told, 82 club teams from around Iowa will play this weekend at the facility.
"Through our hard work and our relationship with the state, we were able to offer them a practical solution at the last minute to bring the event here after the incredibly bad weather they've had in Des Moines shut down the grass fields," said Paul Dayrell, the technical director for Sporting Iowa East and director of soccer operations at the complex. "To me, this is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Iowa Soccer and TBK Bank Sports Complex."
With the alternative being cancelling the tournament, Dayrell called the complex Tuesday morning to find out field availability and put together a mock schedule. After a few hours, the tournament directors and the complex directors agreed to move the tournament to the Quad-Cities.
The Iowa Soccer Championship Series is the qualifying tournament for determining advancement to the Iowa State Cup and the Iowa Presidents Cup. Teams participate over three weekends to determine which team advances to the regional and national competitions.
The latter two weekends are still scheduled for Des Moines, but that could change if the weather continues to be uncooperative.
The convention and visitors bureau anticipates nearly 2,000 players, families and coaches will visit the area over the weekend.
"This is a game-changer kind of facility," bureau president Dave Herrell said. "It's a versatile venue so there's a lot we can do here and this is a unique opportunity to showcase not only the TBK but also the Quad-Cities region."
This is essentially an audition for the six-month-old facility to show what it is capable of. It has already hosted several youth tournaments as well as some college games but hopes to become the type of place that routinely hosts big tournaments throughout the year.
"This is exactly why we built this complex. ... This is a perfect opportunity for us to showcase this to the rest of the state," said TBK Bank Sports Complex director of operations Leslie Van Dyke. "Every event we have is an opportunity for us to go to the next big thing. This is huge for us, it will be great for our resume but we want to be like this in every single sport that we have. From volleyball, to basketball, to baseball at all levels, we want to have any local, regional national events, we want the hub to be here."