PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Saturday was the final day of a three week run for the Grand Slam World Series of Baseball in Panama City Beach.
CEO Larry Thompson says it's the first time in six years the Sunday rain date has not been necessary.
287 teams came from 17 states, bringing with them thousands of family members. A few local teams participated as well, the Beach Sox from Fort Walton Beach, who played in the 10U championship earlier in the day.
Traffic has been ratcheted up near Frank Brown Park in recent weeks. As frustrated as that may be for locals, there is a silver lining to the long line of cars.
"I get a lot of people saying, 'so you're responsible for all the traffic!'" Thompson said. "I say well, you know, here's the thing...what's the alternative to the bad traffic? Not bad traffic, which is not business, which is not economic impact. Let's embrace this bad traffic and all the people and all the people, and then let's reap the rewards and benefits later on. We'll be glad we had it."
Grand Slam started with modest success in 2004. Now it has boomed into one of the premier youth baseball tournaments in the southeast.
"When we came here 14 years ago, I had no idea we'd still be here today," Thompson added. "The city has really embraced Grand Slam."
Grand Slam returns for a fourth and final session with 72 teams in two weeks.