PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The 2017 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old Southwest Regional Tournament is making its way to Paragould for the first time in over a decade.
"We are really excited to showcase our ballpark and league to the southwest region," said Darryl Brotemarkle, the host tournament director.
The event will take place at the Francis Bland Park, where 10 teams across six different states are expected to compete.
"We have state champs from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama so about 150 to 200 different kids," Brotemarkle said.
Brotemarkle said he is confident that having that many children in a tournament mean great business for Paragould.
"The hotels and restaurants in the city will definitely see an increase through that week," said Brotemarkle.
The Paragould Youth Baseball group paid a fee of $3,000 to host the tournament, which is something Brotemarkle said is very worth it.
"It has been 14 to 15 years since an event like this has come to Paragould so we are really excited to see it come back," said Brotemarkle. "I hope when people leave here they will say that this is the best venue and the best experience playing baseball or watching their kids play baseball and I want them to leave here thinking and saying that Paragould knew what they were doing and that they know how to do a tournament and put one on and do it the right way."
Brotemarkle said the opening ceremony will begin July 12. The tournament will kick off July 13 and will go on until July 18.
"This is a really big deal because we have all of these kids competing for one prize and that prize to go to the 2017 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series," said Brotemarkle.
That series will be held in Hammond, Indiana in August.
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