Every other year, the Town of Normal throws out the welcome mat to about 100 of the best ASA girls softball teams in the country.
This year the Under 12 year-old girls teams are competing at one of the nation’s best softball tournament venues — Champion Fields at Maxwell Park in Normal — for the national fastpitch softball championship.
Eighty-eight teams from New Jersey to California and from Oregon to Texas are staying in the area, spending money in hotels, restaurants, and retailers and enjoying our pleasant July weather.
The Town’s Parks and Recreation Department and dozens of other Town employees and community volunteers work for weeks to prepare the fields, make hotel assignments, and create the best possible experiences for the hundreds of players, coaches, and family members.
The Bloomington and Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau also plays a very important role in hosting the event.
Tonight’s opening ceremonies at ISU’s Hancock Stadium highlighted each of the teams and featured a performance by Quick Change, the couple with one of the biggest functioning wardrobes.
Pool play starts bright and early Monday morning and the tournament continues through Aug. 2.
Good luck to our local teams, the BNGSA Angels U11 and BNGSA Angels U12.
These tournaments demonstrate the value of youth amateur sports in economic development in our community and how important outstanding sports venues like Champion Fields are to our local tourism infrastructure.