Cal Ripken World Series brings economic boost

VISALIA, Calif.

Just to get the tournament in the valley more than $100,000 had to be raised. The money is helping pay for extras at the Riverway Sports Park, like additional seating.

But the World Series organizers and Visalia city leaders said the ball games played in the South Valley could lead to a million dollar homerun for Visalia's economy.

The teams from all over the country were welcomed with a big opening ceremony.

"From here until next Friday they're going to be playing their hearts out hoping to win the big prize," said Darrin Cantrell who works for the tournament.

Cantrell said by inviting the ball players and their families to experience the South Valley during this tournament many local business will win big.

"With all those teams, you're talking about a lot of people spending a lot of money in this community," Cantrell said. "We're hoping that a million dollars is dropped in Visalia over the next 10 days."

Managers over at Figaro's Mexican Restaurant hope to cash in on that million dollar boost. "We've been getting ready, scheduling everybody so we can accommodate everybody, as they're coming in," said manager Miguel Figuroa.

The restaurant has ordered extra produce; it even posted flyers to tell potential customers that doors here will be open an hour later during the series.

One hotel in particular is already seeing increased business. The Holiday Inn near the Visalia Airport is the official hotel for the World Series. Managers told Action News hundreds of people are checking in.

The million dollar projection comes from other Cal Ripken tournaments held in similar sized cities.

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