Florence asks tourism officials for help in luring sports tournaments

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Florence Sports Complex

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Even though winter is about to set in, park and recreation officials in Florence are already looking to baseball and softball season.

They’re especially interested in luring tournaments to the area, and looking to tourism officials for help.

With some experience in holding tournaments under their belt, the Florence Park and Recreation Department wants to take hosting to a new level.

Todd Nix, the Director of Community Services for the city, has approached Florence-Lauderdale Tourism officials to help financially with bringing large summer tournaments to the city sports complex.

“We provide the facilities; we also provide the labor, concessions, the maintenance and that sort of thing. What we are asking them to do is to help us bring some of them here financially. When we do that, especially the one that puts heads in beds, we feel like it’s a win-win,” said Nix.

The City of Florence has spent several million dollars to develop the sports complex, and they believe it’s now time to bring in the large tournaments.

Nix has asked the tourism board for just over $30,000 to help bid on tournaments for the 2015 baseball and softball season.  He says these tournaments will last for several days and bring revenue into the area.

“We try and recruit tournaments for 12 and under kids,” Nix explained. “So if we can get them out of there at 4 or 5 [PM], they are going to stay there and swim a little bit, then they are going to get out on the town. They are going to go eat, and they are going to go shop.”

Nix said the average family who comes to an area for a baseball or softball tournament will spend around $300 a day.

The proposal to the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board of Directors is being studied by a budget review committee and will be addressed at the December board meeting.

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