The Fargo area has been the host of numerous high school tournaments with the majority of the management and hosting responsibilities provided by the Fargo Public Schools and their athletic departments. In an effort to develop a stronger and more efficient tournament committee, the athletic directors of the Fargo Schools initiated a proposal in 1994 to have other area schools involved in the tournaments. The result was the formation of the Metro Area Tournament Committee, which consists of a steering committee, finance committee, bidding committee, promotions committee, events management and hospitality.
The steering committee members are Ed Lockwood, Fargo Public Schools Director of Student Activities; Cory Lehman, Fargo South Athletic Coordinator; Troy Cody, Fargo North Athletic Coordinator; Lenny Ohlhauser, Fargo Davies Activities Coordinator; Curt Jones, West Fargo Athletic Director; Randall Nelson, Fargo Shanley Athletic Director; Sarah Mevold, Fargo Oak Grove Athletic Director; Peggy Stibbe, Discovery MS; Oak Reile, Ben Franklin MS; Dean Wilson, Carl Ben Eielson MS; Rob Sobolik, Director of the Fargo Dome; Rick Flacksbarth, Cityscapes Development; Joan Miller, Fargo Public Schools; Mike Williams, Attorney; Darwin Gorder, community representative; Steve Saxlund, F-M Convention & Visitor’s Bureau; Jim Sorensen, Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Gary Mailloux, Fargo Schools and Judy Dvoracek, Red River Valley Fair Association.
The finance committee members are Ed Lockwood, Rick Flacksbarth Curt Jones and Joan Miller. The committee has worked to develop three sources of funding for tournaments. The first is the annual Tournament Patrons membership. Each year personally signed letters are sent soliciting donations for the funding of tournaments by potential members. We have had great response each year and seem to see the list grow annually. We are very appreciative to the patron sponsors. A second method for funding tournaments was developed to provide special recognition to businesses or corporations that want to join the major corporate sponsorship group. We have a limited number major corporate sponsors and each sponsor makes a three year commitment to the funding of the tournament committee. We are proud to have Sanford Health, F-M Convention and Visitors Bureau, Farmer’s Union Insurance, Scheels, and ND Corn Growers Association as our major corporate sponsors. The final method to finance tournament expenses is to host invitational athletic contests or tournaments. Profits from these events are added to the annual budget expenditures.
The promotions committee is co-chaired by Rick Flacksbarth and Judy Dvoracek, with membership coming from Ed Lockwood, Curt Jones, Rob Sobolik, Jim Sorensen, Steve Saxlund, Harley Danielson, Pam Kloos, Brent Tehven, Brian Shawn, and Mike Prekel. The purpose of the committee is to develop ideas and activities that will enhance and promote the tournament.
The housing and accommodations is the final sub-committee with Curt Jones and Steve Saxlund as the co-chairs. Their primary responsibility is to reserve blocks of rooms sometimes a year before the event. Therefore, teams and fans are assured that rooms will be available during the tournament dates.
A time line is created and numerous sub-committees begin to put activities into motion. Each member of the steering committee is given various assignments which results in the development of a work force and job descriptions for the individual needs at tournaments. Many of the individuals that are working at these tournaments are donating their time and talents in an effort to provide the very best event. The combined efforts of this committee have resulted in the Metro Area having the ability to provide excellent services while hosting tournaments. We are thankful to all who have given support. Through these efforts we will be able to provide the fans, players, and the schools with a memorable experience.