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World series drew thousands to town

Over a four-day period last week, hundreds of players, coaches and spectators attended the United States Specialty Sports Association's Slo-Pitch Softball World Series to Sweetwater Park near Thomson.

At the same time, it also boosted the local economy by thousands of dollars.

"We don't know exactly how much it boosted our local economy, but we know it was very significant," said Elizabeth Vance, director of the Thomson-McDuffie County Tourism Bureau. "We're hoping we can provide such economic figures on events such as the softball tournaments and other big events that come to our area in the near future."

Mrs. Vance explained that officials with the Georgia Department of Economic Development are involved in devising a way to establish ways that would indicate how much money was spent locally by those visiting Thomson and McDuffie County during major ball tournaments and other events that draw large crowds to the city and county.

A plan is expected to be in place by the time an annual BASS fishing tournament is held in November at Wildwood Park in neighboring Columbia County, Mrs. Vance said.

As was the case with the world series last week, which drew 33 softball teams from several states, including Oklahoma and Ohio, and filled local motels to capacity, the BASS fishing tournament is expected to draw large crowds to the local area, as well.

"Events like those really make a big economic impact on the local area," Mrs. Vance said.

Web posted on Thursday, July 26, 2007

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