FORT DODGE — Fort Dodge is home to the Iowa State High School Softball Tournament and it has been for more than 50 years. That partnership isn’t ending anytime soon. Fort Dodge recently extended its partnership with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union for the next five years.
“The city and the county, our community partners, have continued to make improvements to our facilities to our infrastructure to our hotels to the buildings,” Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Fort Dodge, Lori Brandhorst said.
Starting Monday more than 40 teams will compete at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex, which has three diamonds: two softball fields and one baseball field.
Lori Brandhorst said the city has two partners that are essential to making sure the event goes smoothly. Iowa Central Community College will host softball teams in its dorms and offer meal plans. The Fort Dodge Convention and Tourism Bureau donates $7,000 to the tournament each year and covers the costs of security and cashiers.
According to the Fort Dodge CVB Director, the state softball tournament brings in $1.4 million over the course of the week, with up to 5,000 spectators crowding the city.
Brandhorst said this economic impact bleeds over to surrounding areas as well.
“Not only is Fort Dodge, are all of our hotels full. Fifteen minutes away is Humboldt, and we have 40 minutes away is Jefferson. Some actually stay as far as an hour away from us in Ames. So the economic impact in the hotel-motel, is not just here in Webster County, but it also expands a little bit farther,” Brandhorst said.
The State High School Softball Tournament will kick off at 11:00 a.m.