Over other years, in mid-July, York County has been privileged to be inundated with hundreds of young softball players, their families, friends and fans from across the nation. This year was no exception.
Starting Monday and ending with finals on Saturday, more than 300 teams competed in the 2007 Class A Girls National Softball Association Fastpitch World Series. With 15 players on each team, plus coaches and those who came to watch, the tournament attracted about 21,000 people for games in Rock Hill, York, Charlotte and Gastonia, N.C.
That meant packed hotels, restaurants and other local retail outlets. At Cherry Park, Rock Hill's premier softball center with five fields in constant use during the week, concession sales were titanic. Thousands of hot dogs, hamburgers, chili cheese fries, chicken tenders and soft drinks were consumed. One vendor at the park sold 1,000 snow cones during a week when temperatures hovered in the high 80s.
Considering that many other restaurants and other stores also enjoyed a boost from the influx of all those people, this annual tournament amounts to a considerable economic boon for the county.
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But the tournament also allows the community the chance to show players and fans our best face and to extend them our hospitality. As in the past, folks from up and down the East Coast and into Canada will return to their homes with nice things to say about York County and its outstanding athletic facilities.
We salute all those involved in organizing this tournament. How they draw up a roster for that many teams, we'll never know, but the ease with which organizers accommodate so many people once again had visitors singing their praises.
It was a great week. Let's hope we can do it again in 2009
Thousands of visitors came to York County to participate in softball tourney.