Austin Is Geared Up For A Big Softball Weekend
It was roughly seven months ago that the City of Austin took center stage at the 2014 NAGAAA Summer Meetings beating out San Diego for the right to host the 2016 Gay Softball World Series. The Austin GSWS bid committee really made a splash with its organized and precise presentation. Softball Austin hopes to continue its recent streak of positive momentum into hosting the 2015 Texas Shootout tournament this weekend.
A large contingent of teams, 67 to be exact, will invade the Texas state capital to compete in the B, C and D Divisions this weekend. While returning teams and players might recognize some of the sights and points of interest in Austin there will be several new features to this year’s Texas Shootout that any player or fan will want to check out.
Albert Rodriguez is returning to the role of Texas Shootout Tournament Director after a two-year absence and he along with the tournament committee are eager to welcome everybody to the Lone Star State. A big change from previous years to this year is the addition of a beer garden at Krieg Softball Complex. “We will be having a beer garden at our back fields. We wanted to offer our guests a little something different and this is something we have never done in the past,” said Rodriguez. It is important to note that entrance into the beer garden area will require all entrants going through a security checkpoint. No outside alcohol will be allowed into the beer garden and no alcohol can leave the beer garden.
The tournament committee really looked at improving the tournament participant experience with this year’s tournament. The beer garden will be located in the entire area encompassing fields 8 through 11, which is where the championship games will be played on Sunday. Beer will be available beginning at 10 am on Saturday and Noon on Sunday. Within the beer garden there will be a “selfie station”! Players and fans are encouraged to post their beer garden tournament selfies to the Texas Shootout Facebook page.
Start your tournament weekend off right by getting registered at Oil Can Harry’s! OCH will host registration from 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday with complimentary burgers on the patio. After the games on Saturday, the fun moves to the Iron Bear with beer bust pricing in effect between 3 pm and 9 pm. Staying later than 9 pm? You’ll be glad you did. “The fun will continue after 9 pm with plenty of shot/drink specials,” added Rodriguez. Rain on 4th will be the closing party host on Sunday after all the games are completed. Trophy presentation will take place around 7 pm with food and fun on the menu to round out the tournament weekend.
The beautiful Krieg Softball Complex will host the tournament again as any new players to the Texas Shootout will get a preview of a large portion of the 2016 GSWS fields! The Holiday Inn Town Lake is the host hotel for this year’s tournament. The hotel is in a great downtown location and is a convenient distance to the fields, bars and restaurants. Folks might want to know that the Pecan Street Festival will be happening this weekend in Austin. “Pecan Street is the original name of 6th Street,” said Albert Rodriguez, Texas Shootout Tournament Director. The Festival takes place between Brazos and I-35 and will be occurring on Saturday and Sunday. There will be plenty of food, art, crafts and of course, live music!
Finally, with adding the beer garden the tournament committee wants to make it very clear that they still plan on having all of the other tents and amenities that the Shootout has offered its guests over past years. “The beer garden is located in the area where we traditionally had registration and T-Shirt sales. Players can expect those tents to move just outside the gates of that area. In addition to the aforementioned traditional tents, we will also have an information tent where players, coaches and managers can visit for assistance,” Rodriguez clarified.
While the 2016 GSWS and Texas Shootout Tournament Committees are separate groups that have some intertwining parts, it’s fair to say they have the same vision. “The Texas Shootout, along with the World Series committee, is working hard to achieve their goal of putting on the best possible event. The committee has worked hard to make this tournament successful and to ensure a good time is had by all! The committee would like to take a moment to thank Rene Trevino for the hard work and contributions he gave this committee,” said Rodriguez.
One thing is very clear, the softball leadership in Austin means business when it comes to raising the bar at its yearly weekend tournament leading up to the 40th Annual Gay Softball World Series next year and the Diamond Dish cannot wait to be there covering the event live this coming weekend.
*The DD would like to give a special thank you to Albert Rodriguez and Rene Trevino for their assistance with this tournament spotlight article and for helping to facilitate the Diamond Dish’s on site coverage of the Texas Shootout this weekend in Austin.*