The leading publication for sports event planners and tourism directors, Sports Destination Management, named Maryland Sports and the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA) 2015 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. The title was in recognition of the collaboration undertaken to host the United States Specialty Sports Association’s (USSSA) Eastern World Series, which took place July 15-August 1, 2015.
The World Series brought almost 400 girls softball teams to the Eastern Shore over the course of three weeks. It is estimated that the event drew over 4,000 attendees, requiring over 16,000 hotel room nights and generating an economic impact just under $20 million on the region. The World Series first came to the shore in 2007, and was originally held in Wicomico County where 58 teams were hosted. The tournament’s tremendous growth has expanded its presence beyond Wicomico County’s borders.
Working in partnership with Maryland Sports, this year’s event was hosted by the Town of Ocean City, Worcester County and Wicomico County under the auspice of MAASA. Upon learning of the award, Maryland Sports Executive Director Terry Hasseltine shared, “Maryland Sports is extremely fortunate to work with great strategic partners like MAASA to deliver world-class sporting events that spur Maryland’s economy. Congratulations to our partners that make up MAASA: Wicomico County, Worcester County and Ocean City for their continued effort to make Maryland great.”
This is the second award in just as many weeks bestowed upon MAASA. The Alliance took home a 2015 Tourism Partnership Award during Maryland’s 35th Annual Tourism & Travel Summit on Oct. 29. MAASA was formed by the Town of Ocean City, Wicomico and Worcester Counties in 2014. The formal sports-marketing partnership is the first of its kind in the nation. It leverages the combined assets of each jurisdiction in order to attract, retain and build sports marketing events. Since its inception, the region has successfully hosted two national girls’ softball tournaments and the ISSA Eastern Shore senior softball championship. These three MAASA events combined for a total of more than 25,000 hotel room nights booked and $40 million in estimated economic impact.