USA Softball National Championship brings teams, economic boom to Bowling Green
For two and a half years, the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has worked on putting together the arrangements to host the 2018 USA Softball National Championship Fast-Pitch Tournament for girls 14-under. All that planning and preparation is finally paying off as the tournament got underway today at Buchanon Park and the WKU intramural fields.
Amy Cardwell, the Sports Sales Director for the BG Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that they had to pitch Bowling Green and why it would be the best fit to host a tournament of this magnitude. She also added that the reason why Bowling Green received the bid to host the championship had to do with the success the city has had in the past holding events just like this one.
"We have a great history of hosting national events," Cardwell said. "Our location, our tremendous facilities, and then our history of running great national tournaments go into their decision to vote for us."
More than 90 teams from virtually every state in the country have come to town for this tournament, and so far, most of the players and coaches have been very pleased with both the facilities and hospitality that Bowling Green has provided.
"Bowling Green’s one of the greatest towns around, especially in this area," said Louisville Lady Sluggers ’04 Head Coach Eric Davis. "Probably the best in the state. You’ve got eight fields that are very well maintained. With all the restaurants and the shopping on Scottsville Road, it’s a destination place for softball tournaments."
"Any time you can make something very special, it’s something you want," TC Tremors (Binghamton, NY) Head Coach Bob Fox said. "This is perfect."
In addition to the teams coming to town, family members and friends join in on the fun, too. And when they aren’t at the softball complex, all the out-of-town visitors are providing a major boost to the local economy by spending time at many of restaurants and well-known attractions in Bowling Green.
"The impact is almost somewhat immeasurable in the fact that they’re going and visiting our attractions," said Cardwell. "They’re eating in our restaurants. They’re buying gas here. They’re staying in our hotels. It is a tremendous economic impact for Bowling Green."
"I haven’t eaten at a bad place yet," Davis said. "The hotels are always well maintained – either new or remodeled. Again, Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a destination city for big time softball tournaments."
The tournament runs through Sunday, July 29. For more information about the tournament and the various teams participating, please visit USA Softball’s website.