This weekend should provide an economic boon for the City of McPherson in addition to providing softball fans with plenty of opportunities to take in games, as the second MCAC Conference Softball Crossover Tournament takes place at Wall Park today and Saturday.

This weekend should provide an economic boon for the City of McPherson in addition to providing softball fans with plenty of opportunities to take in games, as the second MCAC Conference Softball Crossover Tournament takes place at Wall Park today and Saturday.
This is the second year of the crossover tournament, which was really designed as a cost-saving measure for the teams of the Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference.
“Our Conference is set up with eight teams fairly far apart ranging from Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma broken into two divisions,” Chad Kerr, Central Christian College softball coach and Athletic Director, said. “The North's play a home-and-home doubleheader and the South does the same. These Crossovers are the time when all eight teams come together and the North teams play the South teams. Big money savings for the sports so they don't have to travel four times to play the other teams in the opposite division. A lot of NCAA D2 schools do this and I brought it up after my first year, we tried it last year and it worked well so it is now ongoing.”
In fact, Kerr’s suggestion was  so well-received the MCAC has expanded the crossover to two weekends. Central will host the initial crossover tournament, while Bellevue University (Neb.) will host the second round on April 11 and 12.
Games start this afternoon at 3 p.m., with all four fields at Wall Park being used to accomodate the eight teams. Central Christian will play Waldorf (Iowa) at 3 p.m. and then Bellevue at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday’s games for the Tigers (7-17, 2-4 MCAC) incude a 10 a.m. meeting with the College of Saint Mary and a 12:30 p.m. tilt with York College.
The Tigers were chosen to host the initial crossover tournament because of McPherson’s centralized location, but the teams and the conference officials both liked how the tournament was run well enough to award CCC hosting duties for year two.
“Last year was a learning curve for me, the city and the MRC but now we all know what to expect and this year should be even better than last year,” Kerr said. “Everyone is stepping up and helping out and that's what it will take for this event to continue here and I see no reason why it won't.”
Moreso than just a weekend of exciting softball, this also marks an economic boon for the host city. With eight teams involved, each with 23 players and coaches, plus any fans that make the trip up, Kerr estimates about 350 people attending the tournament.
“The total dollars spent at all the local hotels and businesses is large, so the amount [of economic impact] is pretty big,” Kerr said. “The sales tax, alone, for the city is very big as well. I know you can't find a hotel in McPherson this weekend.  Couple of the teams waited until last minute to book rooms and they were all full, so they are staying in Salina I believe.”
The cost to attend the tournament is $5, with a concession stand made available.