Started in April of 2014 to promote community (music/fundraising) events and specialize in youth sports events ages 14-18. The initial vision was to be an Idaho regional organization providing quality and affordable options for patrons in the Northwest. Offering alternative services compared to the high powered/elitist National and International tournament providers and organizations which charge much higher fees and lesser personal touch.
We've heard teams/coaches state they never (except over phone) knew/met their tournament provider and host. This is something teams at our events don't experience. There is a site director at each main age level venue to answer questions and handle any issues/matters that arise in prompt fashion. Have we made mistakes? Many…and continuously learn from them. Are we perfect? Far, Far, from it! As any business expands it comes with growing pains, mistakes are made. Its’ learning from these mistakes and finding ways to rectify them. Our inaugural tournament Kootenai (Coeur d’alene county) Blazer July 2014 started had 7 teams held at Post Falls HS in Post Falls, ID. Of those 7 teams …3 (received fee waiver) and two (1/2 off fee) others came from a 25 mile radius. The following year we scheduled 5 tournaments, 4 successfully drew enough teams to hold. Point? In 2018 four years later, the now Northern (8 fields over 5 cities) Blazer had 44 (British Columbia, Alberta, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Utah) teams games were played in Spokane, WA; Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, and Rathdrum ID to complete the needs enrollment. As I drove from field to field (4-wheeler in tow) venue to venue to insure fields were prepped properly each game, I barely had a chance to breathe.
Three weeks (tears in eyes) later we sit back and enjoy what has materialized. Understanding the sacrifices of all the employees, teams, coaches, friends, players, and city municipalities that have all been involved in this rising success. There are those that think tournaments should be 100% volunteer driven. Do you think Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, T-Shirt Plus, Tournament Builder, Tournament Machine, Sports Academies, and others too many to list, aren't profiting off the same thing? Of course they are, How many of them donate the first 25% of their proceeds/revenue of each event to the American Cancer Society or other similar programs? Surely, not near as many as should.
I want to thank all the teams, friends, family and employees who have been instrumental in moving this dream into reality over the past few years. This season we scheduled 12 and completed 11 baseball events this year. This year’s tournaments were held in Boise, Meridian, and Coeur d’alene Idaho; Centralia, Kennewick, Liberty Lake and Spokane WA. Continued expansion will be done to include Las Vegas, NV, Sacramento and San Bernardino CA. There are simply too many people to name but a special thanks to all who have been involved in differing ways that will forever hold a deep place in my heart as this endeavor moves forward and look forward to continued growth.
God bless you all :)