Tournament may be financial home run

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Selma hosts the Dixie Majors 17-19 state baseball tournament, the ticket sales will not be the only thing bringing money into the city.

The Parks and Recreation Department, with the approval of the Selma City Council on May 10, came up with the $12,000 host fee after the state Dixie Majors directors asked to move the tournament to Selma because it’s former host Thomasville dropped out.

“We had money in our budget from a couple of years ago,” Parks and Recreation department director Elton Reece. “When they asked us to host we needed approval from the council and we got that.”

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The tournament will start on July 14 and will host eight teams from across the state that will stay in the city, bringing in outside money that can be a quick boost to the economy.

One of the main reasons Reece said yes to the tournament was a change in philosophy from the state directors.

“Normally the host team has to pay for hotel rooms,” Reece said. “That is part of the reason Thomasville decided to drop as the host. They stopped doing it though, so now we don’t have to pick up that cost and it really helps out.”

The tournament will take place at Bloch Park and is just one of three tournaments the city will host.

Selma-Dallas County Center of Commerce executive director Wayne Vardaman said these tournaments bring in many unseen dollars.

“People like to put a dollar turnover amount into what I call ‘special events,’ but I don’t like to do that because it’s so inexact,” Vardaman said. “It’s bringing in money through hotels, food, gas and that’s just a few different things. The other thing is people are going to shop. They are going to come in and buy things and that adds to the sales tax.”