Soccer tournament brings half a million dollars to La Crosse

Around half a million dollars is expected to pour into La Crosse this weekend thanks to a local soccer tournament that almost didn’t happen.

The Coulee Cup brings in more than 4,000 visitors from six states for a three day tournament.

Because of August’s flooding, the soccer fields at Fields for Kids, where the tournament takes place, were completely flooded.

Scott Thesing, the President of Rush Wisconsin West ,said, “We were very worried. This whole complex was underwater. Where we were standing, it was waist-deep so it took a lot of volunteer efforts, a lot of time, people running pumps, getting out here to clean up debris to make this happen.”

It took volunteers more than eight weeks to get ready for this tournament.

“We had over 330 volunteer opportunities for people to participate, and almost all of them are filled. Goals needed re-securing, nets needed to be fixed, so it was a lot of effort,” Thesing said.

Despite their hard work, some fields are still unusable.

“We lost some fields due to the flooding, and that would have limited our ability to host too many games,” Thesing said.

Even though they had to downscale the size of their tournament, Thesing said it’s still a success.

“Today’s been very positive, things have gone really well,” Thesing said.

Because of all the visitors, several La Crosse businesses are seeing an increase in sales.

“We’ve got local hotels filled this weekend, people dining in restaurants, filling up on gas to get around the city, so hopefully they’re enjoying their time here in La Crosse,” Thesing said.

Despite it being a little cold, Thesing said everything is perfect.

“We’ve had some sun, we’ve had a little bit of rain, we’ve had some snow. This is how you make memories, ‘remember the time it snowed and we were watching our daughter play.’ Those sort of memories last forever,” Thesing said.

Around 90 teams are playing in the tournament. Everyone from 9-year-olds to high schoolers.

Each team plays three games, with the winners moving on to the championship games tomorrow.

If you would like to watch, you can go to the Fields for Kids at 2500 Hauser

Street in La Crosse from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.

There is no charge to attend.

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