BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– Teams are competing for a spot in the American Legion World Series this week in Shelby County.
Many out-of-state visitors are in Pelham for this week’s baseball tournament. American Legion baseball officials say it’s bringing a big boost to the local economy.
Eight teams from the mid-south are competing in this year’s regional baseball tournament. Players, coaches and fans represent teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri.
Alabama’s director of American Legion baseball, Alan Phillips, says their presence at this tournament brings positive revenue into Pelham, specifically for hotels and restaurants.
Phillips believes the competition will bring at least 200,000 dollars in economic impact to the area.
“Somewhere between 250 and 500 people will be here all week long, and ultimately spending money in our community and then again just trying to see what all we have to offer as well,” said Phillips.
Comfort Suites hotel manager, Paula Herring says baseball tournaments like this help to keep businesses like their hotel full and busy, especially on weekends.
“We are swamped,” said Herring. “And it is the travelers coming through on 65, but the majority is when the baseball teams come to town, and you know they are going to book in a good place and this is a safe area and we stay booked. The whole team will come stay with us.”
Herring says it also helps local businesses and hotels showcase what the city is truly capable of offering.
Missouri fan and parent, Brian Brooks, says they are staying locally this week and have thoroughly enjoyed what Pelham has to offer so far.
“We love it,” said brooks. “And then coming to a ballpark like this, all the legion people, last night was awesome about the flags and everything, and the ceremony. It’s been incredible. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for the boys.”
This week’s tournament will go through Sunday and Pelham is already scheduled to host the American Legion Mid-South Regional Tournament again next year.