EDEN, N.C. — Eden’s Freedom Park is more than just a 58-acre recreational facility with a walking track, volleyball court and playground. The park is also a money-maker.
“These tournaments are tremendous,” says Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Farmer. “It will have at least a half-million dollar impact on our local economy.”
Big multiple day tournaments like the North Carolina Dixie Youth AAA State Baseball Tournament could bring up to $500,000. For one week, 16 teams made up of 240 kids, coaches and parents will stay at local hotels and make several trips to Elizabeth’s Pizza.
“I remember when I was little. You look at your parents and say ‘Can we get pizza?’ It’s cool to see how fast the restaurant fills up with young kids,” says restaurant worker Will Skrobola.
Johnny Williams is a father and coach of the 10 and under team from Dallas, N.C. Williams enjoys tournaments like the one being held in Eden this week because it makes the kids better players and people.
“It gives them the opportunity to meet kids from different areas. A lot of time you see kids sitting around talking to the other kids.”