TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – A regional softball tournament in Tuscaloosa brings some economic relief to the lull of summer months with students leaving town.

When you think of Tuscaloosa, you first think of the University of Alabama, and then busy bars, restaurants and people milling around campus and the Strip.

“Pretty barren, there’s no one really around,” UA student Erica Manfredo said.

What are usually busy areas with lots of people and traffic have significantly slowed down since graduation two weeks ago.

“When we have graduation you see a huge uptick, it’s like another football game weekend for us so huge economic impact wise but then you see a huge drop-off when you don’t have Bama bound, you don’t have anyone here because summer classes haven’t started yet either so it’s really kind of barren here,” says Stan Adams, executive director of sports for Tuscaloosa Tourism.

For the past 17 years, Tuscaloosa Tourism says businesses around town from hotels to restaurants have gotten some relief from slow traffic with the regional softball tournament.

“It’s going to be huge for us, we’re really a sports-centric town,” says Adams. “$750,000 economic impact that normally at a time of the year when normally nobody is here is a huge boost for everybody.”

Students, longtime Alabama fans and first-time visitors are all excited to enjoy local favorites after the games.

“Haven’t had anything yet, we drove in [Friday] morning so we had a nice 17-hour drive. We got in at 9 [Friday] morning so we haven’t really found anything yet but we’re definitely going to ask,” says Robert Cuffie, an LIU fan in town to see his daughter play.

“We usually hit up downtown on the strip, the T-shirt stores, because if you don’t get down there early, you don’t get a softball shirt and softball is our sport,” says Vickie Farris, a University of Alabama fan from Jasper.

Tuscaloosa Tourism says more events are scheduled throughout the summer like Grand Slam youth baseball tournaments and water ski regionals to help bring people into the city before school starts back up.