YAKIMA, WA - This weekend, a couple different sporting events are coming to the Yakima Valley, providing entertainment and a big boost to the local economy.
"It's really huge," said Rich Austin, Director of Sports Development for the Yakima Valley Sports Commission. "When you look at it over those two to three nights depending on what people do and how long they stay, it brings in an excess of a million dollars of estimated economic impact."
There will be four state championships. Yakima will be hosting 1A and 2A baseball, 1B and 2B softball, and 1B, 2B, and 1A boys and girls tennis. Selah will host 2A softball. In total, there will be six tournaments.
Last year, Yakima made a total of 46.6 million dollars in revenue off-sporting events through visitors spending money on hotels, restaurants, stores, and other places.
"What we really like to do is have them here and expose them to the great weather and the things there are to do in the Yakima Valley," Austin explained, "then they'll go home after these tournaments and hopefully they'll come back for a leisure weekend."
Visitors also get the opportunity to explore the valley.
"People will be up and down the Yakima Valley; they'll have times between their games and so they'll have a chance to see some of the other sites, maybe drive around and see some of the wineries or maybe head up to Naches towards the passes to see what some of the mountains look like," said Austin.
Championships start this Friday. Baseball will take place at the Yakima County Stadium, softball at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima and Carlon Park in Selah, and tennis at the Yakima Tennis Club. The tennis event is free.
For more information on the these events, click this link: http://yakimasports.org/yakima-sports-events.asp.