SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue
J.D. Wood under-
stands the battles
of preconception when it comes to the city
of College Station, TX, so he's a big advocate
of seeing is believing.
"College Station has the stigma that out-
side of Johnny Football [Johnny Manziel] and
Texas A&M bringing life to the community,
people still think we ride horses and things
like that," said Wood, tourism manager for the
City of College Station.
"When we get people here and show them
the facilities we have and the services we
provide for events, that's what's been able for
us to differentiate
ourselves from a
lot of other mar-
kets in Texas and
the Southeast. The
level of service
whether it be for
Cup we hosted
this past year or
the ASA National
or the state Sev-
host every year,
when they come,
they never leave."
In fact, Wood is
proud that when
he says they don't
leave, he means it.
"We just signed
with a lot of our
groups because of the level of service we
provide that they can't get anywhere else,"
Wood said. "We like long-term partnerships."
Wood oversees 58 parks throughout the
city, with nine focused on sports tourism.
"My main focus because of my experience
is athletic tourism at our facilities," Wood
said. "So it is bringing in large-scale sporting
events that utilize the city's facilities, like
Veterans Park Athletic Complex or Brian
Bachman Baseball Park."
That keeps him plenty busy.
"We're looking at 70 sporting events we
hosted this past year," Wood said. "On top of
70 other events."
Veterans Park Athletic Complex has nine
fields and the city will add two more synthetic
fields in July 2017.
"Adding two more additional synthetic
fields will bring us up to 13 fields total in one
complex, with nine of those grass fields and
four synthetic," Wood said. "We are also add-
ing restrooms and walking paths in shaded
fields, and adding
splash pad and
parking as well.
"So having the
13 fields — all
lit — and Wi-Fi ac-
out the venue,
with 1,500 park-
ing spots paved
really opens the
door for a lot
to sharing the city
with Texas A&M,
he also knows the
"We have an
operations staff of 25 to 30 that oversee all
the parks' operational needs from mowing
and edging to taking care of the fields," Wood
said. "You know one of our selling points is
that with A&M so close, a lot of our opera-
tions crew have agronomy degrees. They
live and breathe turf management and they
really take care of the facilities — that helps
set ourselves apart." n
2017 Readers' Choice
Award Winners cont.
Prince George's County CVB
Worcester County Tourism
Greater Merrimack CVB
Johnny Appleseed Country
Traverse City Tourism
West Michigan Sports Commission
Bloomington, MN CVB
Minneapolis Northwest CVB
Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB
Branson/Lakes Area CVB
continued on page 28
City of College Station