Kalispell kicks off inaugural Montana Indoor Soccer Tournament

The Montana Indoor Soccer Tournament has three professional turf fields installed inside the Trade Center Building at the Fairgrounds.

Kalispell is hosting its first indoor soccer tournament, bringing in teams and visitors from around the northwestern United States and Canada.

The tournament is being held at the Trade Center Building at the Northwest Montana Fairgrounds March 2-4 and has 36 boys and girls teams participating.

On Friday the finishing touches were put on the turf brought in from Spokane for the evening's games starring local teams.

"I just love to play soccer and it's just fun to play in the middle of (winter)," said Emma Barron, who was warming up with her team Flathead Valley United.

"I think it's a great opportunity, and it'll be fun -- something we've never done before," said her teammate Ellie Hawes.

Saturday's games will go from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature teams from Calgary, British Columbia and Spokane.

The games will be played according to international futsal rules, which is a variant of soccer.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce hopes the event will bring in traffic to local hotels and retailers in the dead of winter.

Vendors and workers who were there setting up were happy to be a part of the tournament.

“It provides visibility for us, letting people know what we do, what we specialize in and the care that we can provide on the field here,” said Rhonda Kalvig with Ortho Rehab Physical Therapy.

For Darik Hume, a framer by trade, the tournament meant extra money for him.

“I have 30 hours in just with this (turf) that came in at 6:30 yesterday, so a lot of hours," he said of the turf that needed to be patched up and marked.

"There was like 10 of us here yesterday,” he added.

The games are free to the public.

The championship will be held Sunday from 8 am to 3:30 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help at the games. You can sign up online or call the fairgrounds for more information on how to volunteer.

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