The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) has announced its Eastern World Series will return to Delmarva in 2016, marking the tenth consecutive year the shore has hosted the tournament. The three-legged series will run from July 13 to 30, again being billed under the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA), a formal sports marketing partnership between the Town of Ocean City, Wicomico and Worcester Counties.
“The requirements of events like the World Series are much greater than any of us can handle on our own,” explained Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver. “By working together we’re able to meet the needs of large scale sports marketing promoters and see that our region continues to benefit from hosting them.”
“We are pleased to welcome back the USSSA Eastern World Series,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “We take pride in hosting these amazing athletes, their coaches and their families.” With over 350 teams anticipated, the area will see an influx of approximately 13,000 visitors over the three week series including players, coaches and families.
“With teams visiting from all over the country,” shared Worcester County Recreation & Parks Director Paige Hurley, “the USSSA World Series has a huge economic impact on our area, with players and parents eating at our restaurants, using our gas stations, shopping at our stores, and staying in our hotels.” The 2015 event spanned three weeks, generating an estimated economic impact just under $20 million and hotel room night demand of 12,000.
“The efforts put forth in the past from the staff along with the support we’ve received from local businesses, particularly the hotels and restaurants, and civic leaders made the decision to keep this three week event in the area an easy one,” commented Bill Dowell, USSSA Vice President of Fastpitch and Tournament Organizer on his return to the shore.
Formed in 2014, MAASA is the first partnership of its kind in the nation. It leverages the combined assets of each jurisdiction in order to attract, retain and build sports marketing events. Although still new on the sports marketing scene, MAASA is already making waves on a national level. The leading publication for sports event planners and tourism directors, Sports Destination Management, recently named MAASA a 2015 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism for its work with the USSSA. The Alliance also took home a 2015 Tourism Partnership Award during Maryland’s 35th Annual Tourism & Travel Summit.