ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular youth football tournament in Roswell is coming to an end permanently. Organizers for Hike It and Spike It has disbanded its local board and will no longer hold the event.
The pandemic forced its cancelation for the last two years and organizers state that COVID-19 continues to create an uncertain future. They added they have been looking for someone to take over the event but got little interest.
The flag football tournament was one of Roswell’s biggest events, bringing in thousands of players and spectators each year.
James Matteucci, one of the event organizers for Hike It and Spike It, says they are happy for all the years they were able to bring this to Roswell, “Twenty-five years of an amazing event is something that we are extremely proud of and we know that this is a sad day for a lot of people that have grown up with Hike It and Spike It,” Matteucci said.
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Matteucci and Clayton Avery have been the organizers for the event since the beginning but after 35 years of organizing the event and several others throughout the years and now a global pandemic, they have decided it was time to throw in the towel.
“After 35 years we just felt that this was the right time,” Matteucci said.
The event was more than just a charity flag football tournament, it also brought in close to $4 million to Roswell every Memorial Day weekend.
“The biggest impact that we could see or that was recognized is those people that were eating in our restaurants, buying extra socks at one of our retail locations or sunglasses or sunscreen or ice,” said Juanita Jennings, public affairs director for the city.
The hope is that the city’s new sports tourism department might start up other events like Hike It and Spike It. “The biggest thing that people can expect is the new division of sports tourism within the city so we are currently looking for a sports tourism rep. that will be the main point of contact to organize these type of events to have here hosted in Roswell, New Mexico,” Jennings said.
One of the partners of Hike It and Spike It, PS Sports Inc., in Michigan, say they are willing to work with others to try and bring back the event.