Tucson Invitational Games pumps millions into economy - Tucson News Now

Tucson Invitational Games pumps millions into economy

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

You may notice more college athletes around Tucson this month because of a big sporting event that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people into town.

The 15th annual Tucson Invitational Games starts Friday, March 4.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Lincoln Field on the east side, and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is scheduled to throw out the first pitch.

The college baseball and softball tournament draws more than 100 teams from Division II and smaller from across the U.S. An estimated 500 games are scheduled for the month of March and early April.

Visit Tucson officials tell Tucson News Now that this event makes a huge economic impact.

Dan Gibson, Visit Tucson’s communications director estimated it pumps nearly $8 million into Tucson’s economy. He added it is one of Tucson’s top three events, possibly second behind February’s Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase.

Gibson also estimated that the dozens of players per team, coaches, parents, friends, family, and fans of the Tucson Invitational help to fill about 12,000 hotel rooms. The average stay is 6.5 nights.

“It keeps people employed, it brings in tax revenue and also these coaches and teams, they’re eating out. They’re in our community,” he said. “They’re doing things in Tucson. They’re using our fields, they’re paying for field rentals, so overall it’s this great economic impact for our city.”

“It’s absolutely one of the top three events in Tucson behind the gem show,” Gibson said. “Tucson Invitational Games brings in millions of dollars to our community, because they’re staying in hotels, they’re eating out generally 2-3 times a day.”

The public is invited to watch any of the 500-plus games. For a full schedule of games and venues, visit www.tigsports.com.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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