USCCP in the News
Huge Fastpitch Tournament Set For USCCP, MedfordBy Rich Rosenthal, Rec. Supt.
October 09, 2012
When dozens of girls’ fastpitch softball teams travel to Medford for this weekend’s Valley South College Exposure Tournament, the community can point to the construction of U.S. Cellular Community Park as the catalyst for an economic bonanza.
The five-field USCCP softball/baseball complex is the hub for the 72-team tournament – the largest fastpitch gathering ever held in the Rogue Valley. A total of 215 games will be played Saturday and Sunday at USCCP and on natural-grass fields in Central Point, Medford, Phoenix and Ashland.
Medford Parks and Recreation officials estimate the tournament will generate $1 million in economic impact for the community as a result of spending by 69 visiting teams.
Coordinated by Amateur Softball Association state commissioner Mike Wells in partnership with the Medford Parks and Recreation Department and Travel Medford, the fourth-annual tournament for U16 and U18 age groups has steadily grown from a modest 13-team event in its inaugural year in 2009 to 29 teams in 2010 to 55 teams a year ago.
Wells also runs the Valley Invitational, an annual college exposure tournament in the Portland area each June that attracts over 130 teams, and he jumped at the opportunity to run a similar event in Medford when the USCCP softball/baseball complex opened in 2008.
“Medford has always been an ideal location and climate to run a large-scale tournament,” Wells says, “but U.S. Cellular Community Park really put Medford on the map in terms of being a destination for events like the Valley South and ASA national tournaments.”
The Valley South field includes 17 squads from Washington, seven each from California and Nevada, and two from Idaho. Three teams – from Las Vegas and Idaho – are driving in excess of 10 hours each way to compete in the tournament.
(Jim Craven photo)
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