Contract equals home run for Jonesboro economy

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro made it's pitch and one of the biggest little league tournaments in the country said "batter up!"

The Cal Ripken 10 year old World Series will make Jonesboro it's home dugout in 2015. It's a move that is expected to be worth more than just peanuts and crackerjack to the city.

"We mostly see tons of baseball teams with not only the teams but their families as well, grandparents, parents, cousins, aunts, all of those. It's usually very, very busy for us during the springtime," Comfort Suites General Manager Katrice Samuel told Region 8 News.

Samuel said this spring has started out no different. Just this weekend, Comfort Suites accommodated three baseball teams for a tournament.

Samuel explained they'll continue to see little leaguers until the end of summer.

"With the hotel business, I believe that's the time that all hotels look forward to," Saumel said.

After a contract was signed Monday night, next August is a time hotels, restaurants and gas stations within the City of Jonesboro are looking forward to as the city official became the host of the 2015 Cal Ripken 10 year old World series.

"It's a big deal obviously. It's a national tournament," Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler told Region 8 News.

Huffstetler said nine teams from across the country will be a part of the tournament and it'll be more than just the teams and their families converging on Jonesboro next summer.

After visiting a Cal Ripken World Series 2 years ago, Huffstetler noticed a trend.

"I was amazed at the people that came that had no ties to the kids, they came because they wanted to support their state," Huffstetler said. Something that will in turn support the Jonesboro economy.

"It's just a big impact for us. The town will be full, the hotels will be full, that's gonna be a neat thing to see and the park will be full so we're very excited with all the traffic that's coming."

To help bring the World Series here, the city started putting in two new baseball fields at Joe Mack Campbell Park last year. They'll be done in a few months.

Huffstetler said to make the tournament successful, they'll need plenty of volunteers to help those out-of-towners navigate in and around the city.

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