Tournament brings youth stars, economic investment to Upstate

EASLEY — Each summer, the Big League Baseball World Series (BLBWS) brings more to Easley than just a great week of world championship baseball.

Last year alone, thousands flocked to watch high quality baseball played by the most talented young players in the world, which in turn brought some major economic impact to the Upstate.

“All of us at Big League in Easley work hard every year to provide a place for these young players to develop and grow in their character and athletic skills,” tournament director Jon Humphrey said. “To us, the economic impact study is just an added bonus of why the tournament is a great fit for everyone involved.”

The basis of the BLBWS is to develop teenage baseball players by allowing them to compete in a global arena with their peers. Besides an investment of time given to the players by their coaches, teammates, parents and committee members of the BLBWS, a recent study shows that the tournament actually brought an investment of more than $730,000 to the Upstate.

Due to the large number of attendees, the city of Easley asked Clemson University to research and quantify the economic impact of the 2012 BLBWS tournament.

Throughout the week of the series, researchers interviewed attendees on their average daily expenditures, including lodging, dining, transportation, retail, entertainment and miscellaneous costs. Of the more than 4,000 people who attended the 2012 tournament, 2,400 were out-of-town visitors, bringing a total of $737,471.83 economic investment.

The Big League World Series is a week-long baseball tournament that features some of the most talented 16-to-18-year-old players in the world. Teams from Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Mexico, Canada and the United States compete for the title of Big League Baseball World Champions.

For 12 years, Easley has hosted the tournament and will serve as host again this year from July 24-31. With the growing number of attendees and impact on the State economy, committee members recommend sponsors to reserve their spots soon for the 2013 tournament. The tournament brings thousands of attendees every year and the championship game is broadcast live on ESPN.