Salem scores national championship, a big win for local economy - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Salem scores national championship, a big win for local economy

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SALEM (WSLS) -One of the biggest softball tournaments for teens in the country is coming to Salem, and it’s bringing along thousands of sports fans with it.

John McPhail, Director of tournament and member of the Junior Olympic Commission says he is very excited about this year’s tournament. He says more than 130 girls fast pitch softball teams from all over the U.S. are expected to travel to the Roanoke Valley for the tournament.

McPhail says local leaders in Roanoke, Botetourt, and Salem and throughout the Blue Ridge work hard to make the tournament possible.

"They know the impact this is going to have on the area. It is great to have people from out of town here to enjoy our city," McPhail said.

The tournament is still a month out, but already local businesses are already feeling a positive impact. Several hotels report in Roanoke to have blocked off at least fifty rooms for the tournament.

On average teams are made up of about 20 people including coaches. With 130 teams that's 2,600, not counting family, friends, fans and officials.

Most are making week long reservations which mean seven days of eating and shopping local.

McPhail says those numbers keep Roanoke Valley leaders pushing to bring the tournament back here year after year.

“The economic impact that it can bring in for us and the reason that we do it is just because of the true partnership that we have involved with this."

Organizers are finishing up preparations for July's tournament in Salem, and have already been selected as the 2015.

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