Grand Slam World Series tournament brings economic boost to Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - With hundreds of teams, players, and families on the way to Panama City Beach for the next six weeks, officials say the Grand Slam World Series baseball tournament at Frank Brown Park should boost the local economy.

The tournament is split into four phases and runs through the end of July. (WJHG/WECP)

Richard Sanders, with the Bay County Tourist Development Council, said, "Ninety percent of the teams are from outside of Florida, which is always a huge impact for us. It starts off six weeks of solid 100 team tournaments so it's very good for our economy."

The tournament is split into four phases and runs through the end of July.

The first phase kicked off this week and is made up of more than 90 teams from around the country.

Sanders said, "These teams that are here this week will stay a minimum of seven nights and they'll have 46 people with each team, 46 to 50 really."

Some decide to stay longer.

Brady Atwell, a member of the Kentucky Oilers said, "Some people stay an extra week or they come before, just so they can have a little vacation time with their family."

While the teams are down in the Panhandle, the estimated income for this week alone is $3 million, but what about the entire tournament?

Sanders explained, "The sum or the total economic impact will be around $17 million."

Visit Panama City Beach Officials say every bit helps after Hurricane Michael.

At the end of the day, the tournament is only as special as the kids playing in it, and the success on and off the diamond keeps kids like Kellan Atwell wanting to come back.

Kellan said when asked why he wanted to come back and play in the tournament, "It looks fun and I can hit one over."

The games will mainly be played at Frank Brown with a few at local schools.

Later in July, the new Panama City Beach Sports Complex will also host a few Grand Slam tournament games.

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