YARMOUTH – When it comes to hosting a good tournament or hosting a great one, the organizers of the 2015 Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Federation Championships happening in Yarmouth later this week believe they have all of the bases covered.
“I think we have all of our details covered and I’m confident this will turn out to be a great tournament,” says Darryl LeBlanc, organizing committee chair.
Twenty-seven teams from across Canada – including five local teams – will compete in the national tournament in the 35+, 43+ and 50+ divisions.
“That’s 460 ball players from all across Canada and that doesn’t include umpires and family members,” LeBlanc said. Organizers expect the tournament, which opens Thursday and runs to Monday, to have a significant economic impact for the area.
“The direct impact is probably just over half a million dollars and the indirect impact is going to be probably somewhere around $1.2 million,” LeBlanc says.
He says accommodations have been booked solid locally, and some participants are lodging as far away as Shelburne and Digby. LeBlanc notes a challenge from the last time Yarmouth hosted this tournament in 2009 is there are fewer hotel/motel rooms in the immediate area.
Given the ferry season that is underway, the tournament will admittedly make things tight when it comes to local accommodations this coming weekend.
This will be the fourth time Yarmouth hosts this national tournament.
“Everybody enjoys coming here. The hospitality is great. We have great ball fields. The organization of the tournament is second to none and we put on a good show,” LeBlanc says.
Rick Allwright of YASTA, who is also part of the organizing committee, says events like this are important to Yarmouth’s economy. Sport tourism, he says, can really help to generate ongoing economic activity.
“For Yarmouth, specifically, it’s been really important. Bringing in events like this and hockey events we’ve had in the past is really important to helping our economy grow,” Allwright says. “It’s bringing in new money every time one of these events are held. That’s very important.”
Each new event also helps to position Yarmouth to bid on other large-scale events. Already Yarmouth is hosting Nova Scotia Music Week this November and the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships will take place here in November 2016.
“We keep using our successes to sell our community to other event organizers,” Allwright says. “The more events we do and the more successful we are, the more events we’ll get in the future.”
For this event, volunteers are pitching in and, financially, sponsors, local municipal units and the provincial government have stepped up to the plate. All games during the tournament are free to spectators and while teams do pay a registration fee, having the sponsorship and financial support is important.
The other type of support event organizers are hoping for is from the public.
“It's really great for the area to have all of these people and teams coming in. We’re really counting on the people of Yarmouth to step up and show their great hospitality,” LeBlanc says, adding people will be treated to good baseball.
“It’s a pretty exciting time to have good calibre baseball,” LeBlanc says. “You don’t need to be a ball fan to enjoy it.”
And for those who can’t get enough of baseball this year, LeBlanc says don’t be surprised if Yarmouth looks to host this tournament again in the future.
FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE THIS WEEK;
The Yarmouth Vanguard will be covering this week’s national oldtimers baseball tournament and there are many ways you can keep up with our news before our next printed edition.
We’ll be posting updates and photos on our Vanguard website: www.thevanguard.ca.
We’ll be posting updates on our Facebook page: Yarmouth Vanguard.
And we’ll be tweeting out results and coverage. Follow our Vanguard account on Twitter @YarVanguardnews.
Our reporters covering the tournament will also be tweeting from their accounts: @TinaComeaunews and @EricBourquenews.
Live webcasting during tournament
All games played at Gateway Park and Veterans Field throughout the tournament will be webcast by Bell Aliant #CommunityOne. You can visit the event Facebook page: 2015 CNOBF Championships Yarmouth or the event website: www.cnobf2015.ca for live streaming links.
The round robin of the tournament has been organized in such a way that every team will at least play once at the fields where the games are being live streamed from.
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