You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Shooting suspect surrenders
    The search for the gunman in Thursday evening's shooting in Fort Wayne led police to a standoff the following day with the suspected shooter.
  • Fort Wayne VA resumes intensive care
    The Fort Wayne VA Medical Center has reopened its intensive care unit, the final phase of restoring inpatient services that were halted two
  • Blind pilot able to fly again
      The front wheels of the Cirrus SR20 lifted off the ground at 2:20 p.m. Friday, and it took just a few seconds for the plane to complete it's steady rise above the red, gold and green tree line on the horizon.

City preps for thousands of young athletes

– Dining out this weekend?

Be prepared to wait a little longer than usual. Be prepared for larger crowds. Be prepared for roaming packs of hungry kids donning athletic gear.

Four regional youth and teen sports events will descend upon the city this weekend, bringing with them nearly 7,000 participants – and their family members – as well an estimated $1 million to Fort Wayne.

Those estimates come from Visit Fort Wayne, the area’s tourism agency, which used data based on past events and surveys on past participants’ eating and travel habits to crunch such numbers.

“There will probably be extra people going into restaurants and into hotels, and it may be hard to park in some spots, but we look at this as a great thing,” said John Felts, a marketing specialist with Visit Fort Wayne.

“People will be coming to enjoy our restaurants and facilities, and we’re very confident that once they come here, they’ll be back.”

The events scheduled are:

•The Gym Rats MLK Classic at Spiece Fieldhouse will take place Saturday and Sunday, with roughly 3,500 basketball players in grades 3-8 taking part.

•The Fort Wayne MLK Challenge, a volleyball event for ages 12 to 18 with nearly 2,500 participants from multiple states, will be at Memorial Coliseum and SportOne Parkview Fieldhouse on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

•The Fort Wayne Aquatics Winter Classic Invitational will include 200 of Indiana’s top swimmers at the Helen P. Brown Natatorium today, Saturday and Sunday.

•The Fort Wayne Fever 11v11 Indoor Challenge Tournament is expected to feature 1,000 soccer players from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska and Illinois at The Plex South today, Saturday and Sunday.

Felts said rarely do four such events fall on the same weekend but that this time “everything just fell into place.”

“We’re seeing a huge growth in youth sports,” he said. “Sports are an area we wanted to improve on, and there’s been a huge growth in the last few years due to the different facilities popping up.”

And with extra sporting events come extra out-of-towners.

With extra mouths to feed.

And likely, extra waits and crowds this weekend.