This week over 100 teams from all over the country traveled to Bloomington to participate in the Amatuer Softball Associations National Tournament for girls 12 and under.
John Turnbull, Sports Director for Bloomington Parks and Recreation, said girls tournaments provide a unique opportunity for towns hosting them, adding that girls travel with more family members then boys.
The Monroe County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that every player is bringing 2.5 people. With around 1200 players, Bloomington is experiencing a large rise in population. And more importantly, a large rise in revenue.
“You cant get a hotel room in Bloomington right now,” says Mike McAfee, Executive Director for the Monroe County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Some people are staying in Martinsville.”
Bloomington sees a drastic drop in population and revenues after the University gets out for the summer. And large events like this have the potential to put a lot of money back in to the local economy.
The visitors bureau estimates that Bloomington could see 1.3 to 1.7 million dollars in revenue generated from this tournament.
“We see those dollars in hotels, in restaurants, in retail operations. Hopefully we will see those dollars in other facilities, Wonderlab may see some of those dollars,” said Christy Gillenwater, Director and CEO for the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.
This is the largest softball tournament ever held in this age range, and Bloomington had to compete with over 35 different cities to get it.
“You have to build a reputation of running similar tournaments of similar size, and we have done that over the years,” says Turnbull.
Turnbull adds that all revenues made by the Bloomington Park District will go back in to funds specifically for the cities softball facilities.
The tournaments will take place at the Twin Lakes Sports Park as well as the Winslow Sports Complex.