JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series will begin with team orientations on August 6, an opening ceremony on August 7, and the games will take place from August 8-15.
"It's going to be a huge economic impact to the city taxpayer's wise. I expect a couple million dollars off tax revenue between hotels and food and restaurants and gas," Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler said.
Joe Mack has among the best park facilities in the South but some additions have been made since the agreement to host the World Series happened three years ago.
"We added warm-up pitching cages our first year. We added two new fields the next year and this year we're adding the parking lot for 270 more spaces. It's something that we've needed this just kind of helped push it along quicker," Huffstetler said.
Jonesboro and Mountain Home will represent Region 8 at the World Series but whether it's Connecticut, Florida, California, or Washington 10 of the best 10-year old Little League teams in the country will play in Jonesboro.
"Cal Ripken Babe Ruth is actually bigger nationally than Little League World Series however Little League has the ESPN contract," Jonesboro Baseball Tournament Director Randy Bearce said.
The Jonesboro Parks and Recreation, Jonesboro Baseball, and the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission spent about half a million dollars to make all this happen.
"You know we do a lot of tournaments on the weekend, but I'll tell you all the work that I've done on all the tournaments combined for this year doesn't equal the time and commitment that you put in for this one tournament and the reward will be a lot greater as well," Bearce said.
The World Series will be presented by Arkansas State and head baseball coach Tommy Raffo will be a keynote speaker at the banquet.