One of the nation’s largest high school baseball tournaments will be held in Palm Beach County next year, marking the first major amateur event planned at the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
The Palm Beach Classic, which is run by Prospect Select Baseball, is expected to bring more than 200 teams and 3,000 athletes to Palm Beach County between June 9 and June 14, according to the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The visitors are expected to fill hotel rooms during the slow summer season, pumping an estimated $4 million into the local economy, the commission said.
The tournament will be held on more than 30 fields spanning between Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
The event is the first major tournament to be announced for The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches — the $144 million new spring training baseball stadium under construction south of 45th Street between Haverhill Road and Military Trail. The facility, which is scheduled to open in January, will be the spring home of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.
The national tournament will also be played on fields at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, the Santaluces Athletic Complex and Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.
“The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is thrilled to host the Prospect Select’s Palm Beach Classic in coordination with Roger Dean Stadium, the Santaluces Athletic Complex, Tradition Field, and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission,” said Brady Ballard, Ballpark of the Palm Beaches’ General Manager. “With four premier facilities for amateur baseball, the experience these athletes and families will enjoy alongside the many great tourist elements will showcase why Palm Beach County is such a great destination.”
The tournament is expected to draw top teenage athletes from across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. The event features three age groups and will be played in a wood bat-only format.
Summer sporting events, particularly those for children, teenagers and college students, serve as a buoy for local hotels, boosting occupancy rates just as the busy winter tourism season comes to a close, tourism leaders say.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission played host to a record 63 events this summer. Summertime sporting events brought more than 25,000 athletes to the county, resulting in roughly 52,000 nightly hotel bookings, the commission has said.