Midland soccer tournament to bring thousands to Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Midland soccer tournament to bring thousands to Mid-Michigan

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands are expected to converge on Mid-Michigan for a huge sporting event.

The 35th annual Midland Invitational Tournament begins on Friday and runs through the weekend. It features 178 teams playing 305 games.

The event is estimated to bring 10,000 visitors to the area.

Christina Burnside, 11, is looking forward to showing off her fancy footwork for her fourth Midland Invitational Tournament. She loves seeing other players from all over Michigan and beyond on the fields.

"It's like really packed to get on the roads to the soccer fields," she said.

The event is something that benefits the entire community.

"I think it's great for the local businesses who not only support the Midland Soccer Club through food donations and volunteers, but also the hotels are at capacity," said Christy Estes, tournament director for the Midland Soccer Club.

Amber Foster, front office supervisor of Springhill Suites by Marriott, is preparing for the rush.

"We anticipate to be very busy," she said.

She said the rooms are booked as are most of the hotels in the area.

"You wouldn't think Midland gets a lot of visitors, but with the soccer center and the business travelers for Dow, it's actually a very bustling city," Foster said.

When the games are done the thousands of families have to eat. They fill the seats at the nearby restaurants.

"It gets busy in here. There's a lot of energy here. The moms, the kids, the dads, just want to take a quick break and grab some food," said Kristie Corp, assistant restaurant manager at Big E's.

As for Christina, she is not thinking about how much the community is benefiting from the tournament. She is just ready to take home some wins for her team.

"Maybe we'll win some, a few games," she said.

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