Monday, November 24, 2014

National Softball Tournaments to be Held in Bloomington in 2015 and 2016

Categories: HSC News

Nov. 19, 2014

For more information, please contact:
Mick Renneisen, Director, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, 812-327-6121 or renneism@bloomington.in.gov

Mike McAfee, Executive Director, Visit Bloomington, 812-355-7720 or mike@visitbloomington.com

ASA logoBloomington, Ind.: The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department has announced that Bloomington's outstanding reputation for hosting world-class sporting events has resulted in the city's selection as the host site for the 2016 USA/ASA Girls' 18-Under Class A National Tournament.

During its annual Council Meeting in Reno, Nev., the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced the host sites for the 2016 National Championship season. Bloomington also bid successfully during last year's ASA meeting when cities were selected to host tournaments in 2015. Bloomington will host the ASA Girls' 16-Under Class B Northern National Tournament in 2015.

Each year, the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department partners with Visit Bloomington to attend the ASA council meeting, where tournament venues are evaluated and selected. Hundreds of host city hopefuls from across the U.S. attend the ASA meeting to show off their communities' venues, accessibility and tournament-hosting skills in hopes of acquiring enough votes from the ASA to "win" a tournament.

"It is an honor being chosen by the ASA as the destination for their national tournament," said Mayor Mark Kruzan. "Events like this are what make our continued investments in the community so worthwhile."

"The competition to secure the rights to these ASA tournaments is more intense than ever," said Mike McAfee, Executive Director of Visit Bloomington. "We worked hard for it and are thrilled to be awarded this prestigious national championship. With well over 100 teams expected to participate in 2016, we estimate the economic impact of the event to approach $2 million."

According to Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department director Mick Renneisen, an increasing number of communities are building and renovating large sports complexes in hopes of wooing lucrative tournaments that bring tourism dollars to their cities.

"The Twin Lakes Sports Park was built in 1992 so Bloomington would have the capability to host national-caliber softball tournaments like the Girls' 18-Under Class A National Championships," Renneisen said. "We know Twin Lakes Sports Park is not the newest facility out there any more, but Bloomington can bring to the table something few other cities can: 21 years of experience and know-how to consistently run one of the top-rated ASA tournaments in the country."

Bloomington was awarded a James Farrell Award of Excellence at the ASA's council meeting for hosting one of the highest rated tournaments in 2014: the USA/ASA Girls' Class A 12-Under Fast Pitch National Championship held last July. According to the ASA, a host city must receive an overall rating of 95 percent or more from the ASA Representative, Umpire-In-Chief and the National Office to win a James Farrell Award of Excellence.

Mick Renneisen, who serves as the State Commissioner for the Indiana ASA, was also recognized at the meeting for his 25 years of service to the ASA.

For more information, please contact the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department at 812-349-3700.