USSSA Girls Softball World Series Kicks Off In Wicomico County - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

USSSA Girls Softball World Series Kicks Off In Wicomico County

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - "Beach-goers" and vacationers are not the only people flocking to the Eastern Shore. Today marks the first day of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) World Series, one of the biggest softball tournaments in the country. The event brings over 400 girls softball teams to Wicomico County.

The tournament kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, featuring a Hollywood-themed night, in which teams parade through to a stage, get pictures, and enjoy indoor fireworks and a free concert.

"It's awesome, just awesome," says William Teagle, coach of the Salisbury Sharks.

Wicomico County has hosted the tournament for the last six years, but this year's event is supposed to be bigger than ever.

"This is the biggest it's ever been," says Steve Miller, tourism manager for Wicomico Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Civic Center. "Last year we had 292 teams and we thought we had a full house, and it's gotten even bigger."

With big crowds, means big business. Many of the local restaurants, businesses, and hotels work together to promote certain specials. Nathan Hanley, restaurant and dining room manager at the Market Street Inn, says they are typically very busy during this time of year.

"You get a lot of groups that come through town and you might get groups of two or three people, but when you have teams playing softball, you get reservations of 25, even 30 people."

Hanley says they had reservations booked before the opening ceremonies even started.

"It's helpful to know you have those reservations in place because you can build around that for your week as far as revenue and sales go."

With more than 6,000 kids, plus their families, this year's tournament is estimated to bring in more than eight million dollars.

"They go shopping, go to restaurants, they get gas, and it just helps support jobs and the economy here," says Miller.

Miller says a ton of prep work goes into the event, between getting the fields and facilities ready, and preparing for opening ceremonies. However, he thinks it is all worth it in the end.

"It's a testament to this community and what we have to offer, and we're just thrilled to be a part of it."

Although the world series brings in a lot of money, the tournament games are open to the public with no admission fee charged. For more information, and for game schedules, visit the Salisbury championships website.

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