Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

June 12, 2013

Youth baseball tournaments can bring staggering amount of money to city

Greensburg — Decatur County residents might be shocked to know just how much money the youth baseball tournaments could bring into the city in nearly every area of commerce.

The Greensburg Youth Baseball League (GYBL) holds four to five tournaments a year, beginning in April and ending in August. Most Greensburg residents have driven past the fairgrounds and seen the baseball diamonds packed with people during one of the tournaments, but it seems unlikely that many people have stopped to think how much those tournaments benefit the city.

For every tournament, there are 50 teams, each with 13 players. As all players in the youth league are under 18, each one requires at least one parent or guardian to travel with them, though most bring their whole family. Even if every player traveled with just one adult, 700 people come to every tournament, not counting coaches and managers.

Those visitors bring a significant influx of cash to the hotel industry in Greensburg. Teams travel from all over the state to attend the tournaments and require a place to stay while they are in the Tree City. GYBL president Larry Ricketts reported that players and their families almost always fill every hotel in town.

While the players and their families are in town, they need to eat three times a day, which adds a healthy boost to the restaurants in Greensburg, as well as the grocery stores. That adds up to an extra 2,100 meals served in a single day. Over the course of the weekend, a minimum of 4,200 extra meals will be served. If every meal cost less than $5, that is still at least $21,000 brought into the community just for food. In addition to the food and drinks, visitors need gas and sometimes car parts, which helps the service stations and auto parts stores. As it is a sporting event, it seems likely that stores selling sporting goods would see a boost in income as well, due to broken or lost or equipment.

In between the games, players and their families need a way to entertain themselves and may not want to watch every game. In the past, visitors in town for tournaments have reported enjoying the pool and park being so close to the baseball diamonds, as well as the bowling alley and the mini-golf course. Those businesses all see a spike during tournament weekends too. According to Ricketts, visitors at past tournaments have stated they liked the layout of Greensburg and that everything they needed was easy to find and didn’t require much driving.

Two or three years ago, Ricketts college student Heather Phelps did an economic impact study on the youth baseball tournaments in Greensburg as part of her event planning coursework. During the study, Phelps concluded that a single tournament weekend could bring in as much as half a million dollars when all avenues of income were considered. Phelps used average costs from hotels, restaurants, entertainment sources, gas prices and several other expense categories to determine the income boost from the tournaments.

That amount may seem staggering, but when one considers all the different things that must be paid for during a weekend away from home and multiply that by at least 700 for all the people coming for the tournament, that number makes much more sense. When one considers that most of the players travel with more than one person, that half a million dollars could grow even higher.

There are opportunities for huge boosts to business for any company that chooses to sponsor the league. With a company logo featured prominently at the tournaments, that company will be a first choice for out of town visitors who are unfamiliar with Greensburg businesses. The estimated cost for one tournament weekend is $5,000, which pales in comparison to the massive influx of cash to the Greensburg economy. Most of the umpires utilized in the league are from Decatur County, which also boosts local economy.

All of the money the GYBL receives during the tournaments is put right back into the league, equating to lower costs for equipment, registration fees, and umpires. Because the GYBL pays for all of those things itself, their portion of the money raised at tournaments ends up meaning lower costs for players and their families.

The GYBL often donates portions of the money to the community or to other youth sports leagues. Often, players and parents from other leagues come out to help with the tournaments. The GYBL in turn tries to donate funds to those leagues.

The GYBL is still in need of sponsorship for this summer’s tournament season. There is a massive amount of potential gain to be had by both the GYBL and participating sponsors. For more information about sponsorship, please contact GYBL president Larry Ricketts at 812-560-9086.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004

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