GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Little League Softball World Series will be played in Greenville for the first time ever, starting Wednesday. City officials are expecting a big impact from the event and are hopeful it will lead to more events for the city.
“We’re working really hard to make sure that all the young ladies their coaches, and their family have a great experience here in Greenville and I’m pretty confident that they will,” said Greenville Little League Commissioner Brian Weingartz.
Weingartz and his team have been preparing Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park for weeks to host the Little League Softball World Series. Now, the 10 teams from all over the country are here and ready to hit the field.
“They’re getting outfitted in uniforms, they’ll be over here at the park getting their pictures taken,” Weingartz said about Monday’s activities.
Due to COVID-19 protocols set up by Little League International, each team has received 99 tickets to invite guests. Greenville Mayor PJ Connelly said despite some of the restrictions at the event, this is a home run for Greenville in terms of the economy.
“Over the last year and a half, it has been very tough on our local economy,” Connelly said. “We had a lot of tourism dollars that have not come to our area like we normally do.
“To have guests come here and visit, stay in our hotels, go to our restaurants, go to our local businesses that have suffered over the last year and a half will be very exciting and it’ll infuse our economy so were excited to welcome them.”
The tournament will also put Greenville on the map when it comes to attracting even more sporting events to the area.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to showcase that we have such a great background for sports in our community,” Connelly said. “That we’ve got the facility to be able to host an event of this caliber. We’ll be on a national television station so people throughout the entire country and even the world will be able to focus in and look at Greenville,” he said.
Click here for more on the COVID-19 protocols that will be in place for the tournament.