Three major sporting events are expected to bring a great many visitors to the Fair and Friendly City’s sports venues this weekend. The three events, including a cross-country track meet with 800 to 1000 runners, a fifty-team baseball tournament and the USTA Tennis Mixed Doubles State Championship (co-hosted with Tupelo), will bring players, families and fans to New Albany beginning on Thursday night.
“We are excited to be co-hosting this event with Tupelo and bringing players back to New Albany,” says Bo Bowman, New Albany’s Tennis Director. “We’ve worked with them before on these events, and they’ve been a great success.”
Much like this week’s solar eclipse, the three big events aligned for New Albany to all be on the same weekend, bringing more visitors than usual to New Albany sports venues. This is good news for area hotels, which are seeing an uptick in reservations, overall. This also translates into good news for area shops and restaurants and the city itself.
Mississippi Tourism estimates a daily spend of $68 for visitors coming for a day trip and a $148 for those staying overnight. When a city has thousands of visitors over a weekend, the economic impact of those visits is noticeable.
“The thing about sports events is that they not only bring the participants, but they also usually bring the families and fans of those participants, so these events can be a very big attractor for a city,” says Sean Johnson, New Albany’s Tourism Director.
New Albany’s Park and Recreation Department and New Albany Tennis are coordinating the events. New Albany Main Street, New Albany Tourism and the New Albany Street Department are working to make sure that these sports venues visitors see New Albany in a good light.
“We hope that these visitors will shop and dine in our historic downtown when they’re playing or cheering on their friends and family,” says Billye Jean Stroud, the city’s Main Street Director.
To that end, the tourism department has created new brochures to have on hand at the hotels and at the facilities during the events. The new brochures focus on the city’s independent eateries and attractions, including shopping.
“For a visitor to truly experience a city, they must visit the downtown. If we can get some of these folks downtown, in our restaurants and shops, my bet is that they’ll like what they see, and my hope is that they will come back and spend some more time in our great little city.” says Johnson.
The events themselves will take place Friday and Saturday. The track meet will begin on Saturday morning at 8 am. Brackets for the baseball tournament, which will feature mostly regional, but a few out-of-state teams, has not been completed at time of this writing. The USTA tournament schedule can be found at www.msleaguetennis.com.
For more on locals’ use of venues in New Albany: http://nanewsweb.com/new-albany-shockers-learning-to-take-the-heat-in-life/ and http://nanewsweb.com/saturday-at-new-albanys-2016-literary-fest/