Businessman hopes tournament might help Albany's economy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Businessman hopes tournament might help Albany's economy

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany businessman wants to jump start Albany's economy by bringing more business to town.

Eric McCallum points out this Memorial Day local business is losing out because there are no special events bringing tourists or revenue to Albany. McCallum's put up $1,200 of his own money to host a softball tournament that could bring those willing to spend into the community. Albany businesses say added events are something Albany's been missing.

The fields at Gordon's Sport Complex are empty. Eric McCallum owner of Landmark Travel says during a weekend when other towns host tournaments that bring in people and revenue Albany is missing out.

"Right now we have five beautiful fields out here, if they're not used, that's money I believe that's going to waste. We got to use them, make something out of them," said Eric McCallum, Tournament Organizer.

As a traveling umpire who often officiates tournaments he sees the money that gets spent by participants.

"After the tournament people go out to eat, they have to have a place to stay so, we all can profit from this," said McCallum.

So he's putting up $1,200 of his own money to put batters in the box in what he calls the Good Life City Classic tournament. Restaurant owners say with people eating out 30 percent less, McCallum's tournament could be a home run.

"There was a time when I think we took some of these event for granted. Right now we'll cherish everyone of them," said Reynolds Horton, Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q Owner/Operator.

Business owners know that if you can put people in the bleachers, they'll do the rest to stimulate Albany's economy.

"When these folks come to town they buy gas, they come out to eat, they stop at the convenience store and get cokes, and candy bars and they bring money into the community," said Horton.

Giving local business a much needed boost, during tough economic times.

So far Eric McCallum has signed up five local men's softball teams for the tournament June 6th and 7th, but says he needs ten teams to hold the tournament. Both men and women's teams can compete in the tournament, but participants must be over the age of 18. The tournament will follow USSSA Rules. To register a team you can contact Eric McCallum at (229)854-1215.

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