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Pearland Classic Sports tourneys boost local economy

Pearland Classic Sports tourneys boost local economy

Greg May wrote:

June 18, 2010 7:01 am


Pearland’s economy reportedly received a huge boost thanks to the 11th annual Texas Classic Basketball Tournament that attracted just under 300 youth teams in April.

“We had an estimated economic impact of approximately $1 million, and we try to use very conservative numbers,” said Bryan Roller, vice president of destination marketing for the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. “We use a two multiplier (how many times the money trickles down and/or changes hands), and I’ve seen some cities use as high as a six or seven.


“It’s not only the million-dollor impact locally, but surrounding communities also benefit because Pearland is in the middle of NASA and Kemah to the east, the beach to the south and a number of other great attractions in the Houston area.”

A majority of the teams come from Texas, especially the Houston area, but the field did have at least 10 from out of state, including one from Mexico, and for the first time, a girls division with 20 teams.


“It’s such a win-win for everyone,” longtime tournament director Rick Nelson said. “It’s a positive impact on Pearland and the local businesses, and it’s great exposure for these student-athletes and great competition from other areas. Kids need to take every opportunity to be seen and try to improve, and that’s a big part of the Pearland Texas Classic.”


The now-massive event had 288 teams this year and benefits other youth activities.

“The proceeds help finance summer youth programs for boys and girls, so basically, it sort of recycles through the system,” Nelson said. “It funds students-athletes’ team travel to help get exposure at all age levels.”

The Texas Classic was first held at Yates High School with 80-90 teams, and then moved to Clear Lake before spending the past eight years in Pearland.

“At first, there were not enough hotels close by in Pearland, and even though the overall number of rooms has grown over the years, it still sells out and people have to stay outside of Pearland,” Nelson said. “We encourage Pearland businesses to be involved, and it all expands to surrounding communities.


“We also have a great working relationship with the Pearland ISD and superintendent Dr. Bonnie Cain. They really help us make it a success every year.”

According to Roller, Pearland’s hotel offering was 141 double rooms three years ago, but now it’s 700, and most are filled during the Texas Classic.
“It’s one of the first times every double room was sold out in the Pearland area,” he said.

The Rytes Warriors Black 16-and-under select team competed in the Texas Classic using players from Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress and Houston’s inner city, according to Rytes coach Lamar Holt.


“It’s one of the biggest-and-best tournaments we play in and the kids get to face some different competition,” Holt said. “RYTES (Reaching Youth Through Education and Sports) is in its fifth year, and this kind of event so nearby is helping us reach our goals.”

Games were played in 30 gyms in Pearland, Manvel and Alvin, and because of prom season, a handful of Houston ISD locations were also used.



“Amateur athletic events are giving Pearland a big opportunity, and we’re working hard to be even better in the future. We want to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for everyone.”

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