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State Tournament brings growth to Demopolis

With the Demopolis SportsPlex serving as the host site for the 2004 American Legion Seniors (ages 17-19) Baseball State Tournament July 29 through August 2, there is plenty of excitement floating through the area, but it’s not just about baseball.

Hundreds of fans, ball players and coaches from throughout the state of Alabama will soon poor into the city of Demopolis. And Demopolis stands to gain from each of them economically.

There will be a total of 8 teams competing for the state title this year including the local host team, West Alabama Post 29.

“I’m tickled to death to have this experience,” Post #29 General Manger Gary Butler said. “I think it’s great for the kids and great for the community.”

Butler isn’t the only one excited about the tournament. Demopolis Park and Recreation Municipal Director of Recreation, Mark Pettus says he’s more than ready to see Demopolis host this year’s state tournament. And although it means he and his staff have before them a tremendous challenge in the coming week, Pettus feels that hosting this event is an honor.

“To be able to host a state tournament of this caliber is an extreme honor,” Pettus said. “American Legion Baseball just doesn’t allow anyone to host a state tournament. You have to have the right kind of facilities, and I’m proud that we have those facilities here in Demopolis.”

According to Pettus, this year’s tournament should bring 4-5 hundred people into the city, which should generate a great deal of revenue.

Jay Shows, President of Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t agree more. In fact, Shows believes – according to the numbers presented by Pettus – that at a minimum, each person that comes into the city for the tournament will spend $25 a day on average. And that it’s safe to say that money will turnover three or even four times before it leaves Demopolis.

“At the very least, the city stands to gain anywhere between $5,000 and $6,000 from the event,” Shows said.

The tournament will begin on Thursday at 10 a.m. with 3 games to follow at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The tournament will follow the same schedule on Friday and Saturday with two games scheduled for Sunday and a championship game on Monday at 1 p.m. if needed.