COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The 16th annual Black Softball Circuit (BSC) World Tournament was in full swing at the South Commons Softball Complex over the Labor Day weekend. Around 8,000 people were in the Fountain City over the weekend, leaving a lasting impact on the economy.
Players, coaches and families are flooding the softball fields for what is one of the largest sporting events held in Columbus. The Columbus Sports Council estimates the 3-day tournament will bring in over $2 million in visitor spending, with the overall economic impact on the city being much higher.
“It’s jobs for people in Columbus,” said David Boyd, the event manager for the Columbus Sports Council. “That is the opportunity for people to see what we think is so special about our town. And we want to welcome them here. There’s some really great teams that play here.”
According to Boyd, the BSC World Series has brought in around $42 million over the last 16 years.
The CEO of the softball association, Clay Dickey, says the tournament started in Columbus in 2007 with 98 participating teams. Now, there are 160 teams from across the nation.
“I don’t ever realize until I drive through the parking lot and see RV’s with tags from all over the country, food vendors from all over the country and watching social media, everybody flying in from somewhere,” said Dickey. “And then you live in that moment for a brief time. But it takes a lot to run this.”
Players describe the tournament as one big family reunion.
“We just enjoy it,” said the Silent Assassins, a women’s softball team. “I love coming, especially if the weather’s nice. I think it’s pretty, pretty good to see so many teams from different areas like you never see.”
Vendors from across the country – competed in the tailgating competition. MP 50/50 won the bragging rights for the second year in a row as the tailgating champions with fan favorite barbeque and a flat screen tv playing college football.