USFA Softball World Series benefits everyone involved

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla- The USFA softball world series is back at Frank Brown Park and other local parks.With over 500 teams are playing games over a two week period it gives the players and their families a chance to play some high level softball and enjoy what the area has to offer.

For the past decade the United State Fastpitch Association has been playing host to their softball world series at Frank Brown Park and other local parks. It's been a big money maker for the area, and a great place for several thousand softball players to play.

TDC Sports Marketing Director Richard Sanders said, "They're out of school and into their travel ball season. It's a great impact for us. It's in the summer period of June and July it'll generate over 60 thousand room nights just in these youth sports alone."

While hotels, and restaurants want these teams to keep coming back, the teams themselves want to comeback as well.

"We have a good time when we come down," 'Arkansas Havoc' Coach Chris Vines said. "Get to meet other girls, and exchange gifts. Even see them out on the beach. So it's wonderful when you get to spend time with a group of kids like this."

The combination of a big tournament, and the destination make for a perfect match during the summer.

"This is a huge draw for them. Everyone is wonderful out on the beach. Once they play ball they're looking forward to going out to eat, going to Pier Park. Just visiting all the attractions that we have. It's a big draw," said USFA National Coordinator Megan Mapletoft.

"We've had alot of vacation time, so there's alot of stuff to do. Now we're down to two or three games a day so there's less vacation time. We have a really good time down here," Vines added. "We've been on go-karts, been out in the water. So, it's been a really good trip so far."

Both sides hope this partnership stays in place for many years to come. The first week of play wrapped up this past weekend, and the second week runs through July 23rd.

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