Baseball: It’s a business

Published 8:51 pm Thursday, June 24, 2010

Baseball season comes with its share of familiarity. Things like the sounds of bats clanking against balls, cheering crowds and referees calling the words every team wants to hear, “safe,” are just some of the things Troy’s baseball fans look forward to in tournament time.

But, for local businesses, tournament season may sound a bid different: “cha-ching.”

From hotels reaping benefiting of traveling ball fans, to the restaurants filling with hungry ball players, to even the recreation department concession stands, baseball provides its share of business across the board.

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“It just has that trickle down effect,” said Troy Parks and Recreation director Dan Smith. “We know very well a lot of money will be spent in Troy at restaurants.”

Restaurants, yes, but that’s not all.

With tournaments come out of town travelers who will likely head to the gas pumps at least once. With high temperatures, there are those who may look for a place to cool off, like one of the city’s many retail stores.

And locally, players who make ball teams will have to spend at least some money with shops that print new jerseys just for the special part of the season.

“That’s always a stimulus in the local economy. When tournaments begin, teams have to get new uniforms and spend money in other ways — bats, cleats, whatever they may need,” Smith said.

This weekend’s tournaments will bring 28 teams spread across Troy and Brundidge.

With the Dixie Ponytails softball tournaments in Troy; the Boys Coach Pitch, O-Zone Rookie League and Dixie Boys baseball tourneys in Troy; and the Boy’s Pitching Machine bringing six teams to Brundidge, Smith said Pike County continues to be blessed as the host sight for tournaments.

“We have been very blessed this spring and summer. We started off with a big high school tournament in March.

“We had the high school super regional tournament in May, and this past weekend we had 40 teams for a Dixie warm up tournament,” Smith said.

“This is going to be a very busy weekend again for us.

“We are very fortunate that in regards to the state of the economy because in many ways this is a summer vacation for these families because they aren’t going to be able to take a vacation until they are done playing tournament ball.”

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Leigh Anne Windham said the county’s benefits could be two fold.

“Having these five ball tournaments in Pike County this weekend should be great for our local businesses,” she said. “This weekend also gives Pike Countians an opportunity to show our guests just how wonderful our home is and how friendly (we) are.”

And, with Brundidge hosting six teams in its tournament coupled with its annual Independence Day Parade, City Manager Britt Thomas said he expects the city to share in some of the financial benefits.

“Anytime you get people coming to your community, that’s positive,” Thomas said. “They might not spend any money the fist time, but they may decide to come back when it’s not ball time. I’m sure they’ll eat some food and buy some gasoline. But much more than that, it also puts your community out for display.”