PEI

Softball tournament a home run for Summerside economy

Softball fans from around the country filled the stands and streets in Summerside this week.

Economic impact for city is close to $1M, organizers say

The 2016 Women's U21 Canadian Fast Pitch Championship wrapped up Sunday. (CBC)

Softball fans from around the country filled the stands and streets in Summerside this week for the 2016 Women's U21 Canadian Fast Pitch Championship.

It was the second year in a row the city hosted the event and, says director of Community Services J.P. Desrosiers, this year was even better than last. 

The vibe has been great, the numbers have been up substantially from last year.- J.P. Desrosiers

"The vibe has been great, the numbers have been up substantially from last year," he said. "I don't know if that's because of weather or just, the more we do, the more people want to come out and support,. But like I said, the vibe, and attendance has been up and over what we anticipated."

The event is a part of a bigger strategy to help the economy of the city. And judging by this tournaments numbers, it's working. 

"This year's tournament is looking as though we're going to be somewhere between $850,000 to $1 million in terms of economic impact for the city."

More they do, better they get

Desrosiers said the more events they do, they better they get at it. 

"The more and more we do, the easier these events become. We've got a great solid team of events staff a great solid team of sport administrators and games control staff and volunteers," he said.

On the field, however, PEI's Scotiabank Reds team finished in fifth place, but Derosiers says the fans are still proud of them. 

'Very good showing'

"They went on a 4 and 0 run to start the tournament, which is very impressive, it certainly proves the fact that they are the number one team in the Maritime provinces," he said.

"But when they get up against the bigger provinces like Ontario or Alberta, it just gets a little tougher for them and I think they put on a very good showing."

The next big sports event for Summerside is the U15 Boys Baseball Nationals starting Aug. 25. 

with files from Sarah MacMillian

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