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Roanoke Valley prepares to host national softball tournament

Published On: Jul 25 2013 05:57:32 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 25 2013 06:16:57 PM EDT
Crews prepare the fields for national tournament

WDBJ 7 - Nadine Maeser

SALEM, Va. -

Floyd Fest isn't the only event pumping big bucks into our area.

More than 1,500 softball players, coaches and families will travel into the greater Roanoke Valley this weekend.

The ASA-USA’s 18 and Under National Championship tournament will be taking place in southwest Virginia.

The city of Salem put a bid in for this tournament and beat out cities across the entire country. Participants will be spending much of their time here on the softball diamond, but they will also be eating, shopping and sleeping.

Crews are currently working around the clock to get the fields ready for some competition.

"This is something that every community across the United States would like to host because what it would do and bring to your economy during these bad times,” said tournament director Jon Shaner.

More than 80 teams are expected to stay in the region.

"We will not lose the first teams until about Thursday afternoon, so for sure we will have teams here in the Roanoke Valley a full 6 days,” he said.

Fans and players are expected to occupy more than 6,000 hotel rooms.

"They believe in what we're providing them in terms of services and facilities and as a result of that our hotels are seeing record business this year,” said Roanoke Valley Visitors Bureau and Convention President Landon Howard.

Howard said hotels aren't the only businesses that will cash in on this big event.

"People will be getting out, going to our attractions, eating in a lot of our restaurants and most importantly, as a result of them being here, they will be generating jobs."

Shaner said the tournament chose our region because of the facilities.

"It's getting to be so competitive out there where everyone is building beautiful complexes so with that expansion and with Roanoke County and city to expand their facilities has helped us with our bid process,” he said.

According to Howard, this softball tournament is just one of 80 sporting events happening in our area for the year 2013.

"When they come they will spend more money, it will generate more taxes and it makes for a better quality of life for all of us," he said.

The tournament starts on Sunday with check-in and opening ceremonies.

Games begin on Monday and will end on Sunday.

Teams will be using complexes here in Salem, Roanoke County and Botetourt County.