TUCSON (KGUN9) - One of the biggest sporting attractions of the year is wrapping up it's opening weekend. The Tucson Invitational Games is a big economic boost for the city and it's growing larger each year.
But it's more than just another day at the ball park for hundreds of out of town teams. Small division schools like D2, D3 and NAIA programs headed south for spring training, trading in winter weather for Southern Arizona sunshine.
The tournament brining thousands guests to Tucson, offering a big boost in the local economy.
"We bring in over 11,000 room nights between baseball and softball parents and fans and coaches," said director of baseball operations, Matt Tiggas. "They go out to eat every night and spend money in town. The visitors bureau has put us at over $8 million that we bring in in the month of March."
And what keeps them coming back...
"The weather is fabulous, people are great, in the area the motels have been very accommodating," said Scott Berry, coach of Mayville State University baseball. "When you go on the road with a number of young men it's nice to know that you have a good place to stay in a good part of town and they have some things to do in their off time."
With 72 baseball and 48 softball teams participating, the Tucson Invitational Games is seeing more players and games than ever before.
The event is set to host about 500 games at Kino Sports Complex and Linclon Park throughout the month of March.
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