USSSA celebrates 15 years on the eastern shore, economy booster for area
SALISBURY, MD.- 4 bases. 3 strikes. 2 teams. 1 winner.
The USSSA Eastern National Championships are back and bigger than ever, as the organization says they continue to see growth in the annual event. “This year we’re sitting at 372 teams. Which was our largest number since 2017,” said USSSA Mid-Atlantic Director Bill Dowell.
I’m told, growth comes from the support of the community and all the amenities the shore has to offer. “And if you look at what the lower shore has to offer with all the family amenities, the beach and the boardwalks, restaurants and hotels, it’s really a no brainier for teams that want to come here,” said Dowell.
The tournament brings in 350 to 400 teams from across the U.S. Experts say its a big economic driver for the Eastern Shore, bringing business to the area by offering shops and restaurants to tourists. “The economic impact they’re having on this community in this 3 weeks is some of the largest impact we see across the whole entire year,” said Assistant Tourism Manager for Wicomico County Recs and Parks Cole Lacey.
The growth can also be credited to the MAASA partnership, which partners up Wicomico and Worcester counties and assets from the Town of Ocean City. Combined, these areas brought together their fields, hotels, and more which ultimately allowed them to continue to grow the event into what it is today. “Without that partnership there would be no growth here. We would be stuck in one central location. So certainly that partnership has really allowed us to excel,” said Lacey.
As for the future and getting back to a sense of normalcy, organizers say it’s great to see these events bounce back. “These parents want to be out here with their kids, they want to be traveling. So certainly this has been a great bounce back year for us and moving forward I see it continuing to really grow,” said Lacey.
Organizers also say events like this are now one of the driving forces nationwide to economic growth after the pandemic.
The games are free and open to the public and they will be going on for the rest of July.
For more information on the tournament, visit www.wicosports.org