Softball tournament boosts Tuscaloosa's economy | News
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC)- The NCAA regional softball tournament is underway in Tuscaloosa and four teams are vying for a spot in the super regional tournament. That means fans have traveled all over the country to see their teams play and Tuscaloosa city leader are seeing dollar signs.
David Wade and his entire family traveled a long way to watch his daughter, Blair, play for University of Tennessee-Martin.
"Nine hours, some 400 something miles. We got the whole family. It's really warm down here too," said Wade.
While the Wades are here, they're staying at a local hotel and eating at local restaurants.
"Baumhower's, that's where we ate at ate some chicken and it was good," said Wade.
It's this type of spending that keeps restaurants busy when all of the college kids have gone home for the summer. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says softball has become a big economic engine for his city.
"We've seen time and time again Coleman Coliseum and the softball complex filled to the rafters because winning generates interest, and in this case for Tuscaloosa, winning generates economic development," said Maddox.
And with all the teams in the tournament coming from neighboring states like Tennessee and Georgia, Tuscaloosa expects a large crowd this weekend.
"I think the NCAA did a good job where people can get to the games with the geography, all fans are able to get here which creates more excitement and it's really awesome," said softball fan Wayne Johnson.
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