Tourney has economic impact here

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2014

Baseball is often described as America’s pastime, and in the present, the sport is drawing folks from around the Southeast to Andalusia.

The 2014 Babe Ruth 16-18 Southeast Regional Tournament is under way here, and it is drawing a crowd from across the Southeast.

Seven teams from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida are playing in the tournament for their shot at the Babe Ruth World Series.

Tournament director Manuel Owens said Friday he feels the event has a good economic impact on the county.

“I think it makes a good economic impact because they’re staying in the motels; they’re eating in the restaurants,” he said. “They’re going to Walmart, and they are going to the grocery store to guy something for grilling and stuff like that.”

Owens said that from looking at hotel bills for the umpires, the county received about $4-5 from each night for each room in lodging taxes.

“That’s basically what we run off of,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons the commission put the tax on there. It’s not just baseball, it goes to the rodeo folks, and the archery folks. We help all of those people out there, too.”

Fans will be in town until Sunday’s championship, which is set for noon, at LBWCC.