Baseball tournament big hit for Albany business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Baseball tournament big hit for Albany business

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August 16, 2007

Albany -- Many of the best young baseball players in the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico are in Albany this week, as the American Legion Regional got underway Thursday morning.

While baseball is the game, many Albany business owners say they will be big winners as well.  Hundreds of visitors are expected to have a one-point-six million dollar economic impact on the region.

Maria Krupa from West Palm Beach Florida is at the Paul Eames Complex to see her son play in the American Legion Southeast Regional. Krupa said "it's our first time to Albany. We have been to Georgia before."

 Jerry Ivie came from Columbia, Tennessee to see his grandson's team play in the prestigious tournament, and will be visiting a lot of businesses here. Ivie said "stay in the hotels, gas money, eats. We hope to stay here for a week. Till Monday, that's the finals."

Fans and family of the Gainesville A's check into the Holiday Inn, getting one of their last rooms. This baseball tournament will bring hundreds of fans to Albany by the weekend, and chamber officials say they will have an economic impact of more than one point six million dollars before they leave.

 Holiday Inn Sales Coordinator Simone Quimbley said "A lot of team in, the hotel is just about overflowing. Even the city of Albany, the hotels are all facing that."

Restaurants like Moe's Southwest Grill put coupons at the ballpark to attract the visitors, and make them feel welcome. Owner Mac Hare says people in Albany should pay these visitors back, by going to the baseball games and supporting them. Moe's owner Mac Hare said "we were all kids one time, and everybody has got to support the kids coming up. Baseball is fun here in Albany, everybody should enjoy it, come out and support it."

They say it's good business for Albany to make events like this a big hit for the visitors. Quimbley said "we love for the citizens of Albany to welcome all the teams and the coaches and the parents with smiles and open arms. So we can get them coming back every year."

 The winners of the regional tournament will advance to Oklahoma for the American Legion World Series.  But Albany business owners are sure they will score a homerun this week as well.

There are eight teams playing in the Regional Tournament, from six states and Puerto Rico.  Albany Post 30 is the host team. The finals of the tournament will be played Monday.

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