MLB

Each of the two 2023 NCBA World Series is expected to generate an estimated economic impact of $420,000 in the area.

Each of the two 2023 NCBA World Series is expected to generate an estimated economic impact of $420,000 in the area.

ALTON – National Club Baseball Association officials like what they’ve seen at Lloyd Hopkins Field and the Alton area so much, they’ve decided to hold not one, but two national tournaments at Riverbend in 2023.

The NCBA announced Thursday that it will play its 2023 Division I World Series at Hopkins Field, affectionately known as “The Hop.” The group had already won its Division II World Series at the Gordon Moore Park facility.

The Division II World Series is scheduled for May 18-23. Division I World Series dates are May 25th through June 1st.

Each NCBA World Series is expected to generate approximately $420,000 in local economic impact and approximately 250 hotel nights.

“It’s worked out really well,” said Eric Curitore, NBCA Vice President of Baseball Operations. “Lloyd Hopkins Field and the Alton area ticked all our boxes.

“Being close to a big city like St. Louis, being close to the airport, having a central location and an all-weather playing surface are advantages,” he said.

And while all of those attributes played a role in the decision, Curitore said one more thing was a deal breaker.

“The community support is outstanding,” he said. “From the town, the Alton River Dragons and the Great Rivers & Routes Tourist Office have been fantastic and have done a fantastic job.”

NCBA representatives were in Alton last month to get a closer look at Lloyd Hopkins Field, as well as the community and its offerings.

The year-round artificial playing surface at Hopkins Field is home to the River Dragons, as well as the field of Marquette Catholic High School and Alton American Legion Post 126. In addition, Lewis and Clark Community College plays some of their home matches. .

The organization announced in December that the Division II World Series will be played at Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park in 2023 and 2024. The deal for the Division I World Series, announced Thursday, also runs two years old

Both NCBA World Series events will be eight-team events, attracting regional champion clubs from schools across the United States.

“Having everything here before the Division II World Series could be an advantage,” River Dragons general manager Dallas Martz said. “The support staff and everything needed would already be in place.”

Checklist items for the NCBA include artificial playing surface, large press box, adequate parking, hotels and restaurants.

On their most recent visit, NCBA officials toured Hopkins Field as well as hotels, restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues.

“The local business people welcomed them with open arms,” ​​Martz said. “It was a good visit.”

Martz said the Best Western Premier Hotel in Alton has a block of rooms already reserved for the Division II World Series and indicated it might do the same for the Division I World Series.

“It’s a great event that will bring together a lot of fans from all eight schools participating in the series,” Martz said, “and will give the area a big economic boost in just a few days.”

The NCBA has 290 teams, 53 conferences and three divisions. Eight regional tournaments take place in early May across the United States, with the winners advancing to the double-elimination NCBA World Series.

It will be the second time the NCBA will hold two of its three World Series events at the same venue. In 2012, the Division I and Division II series were held in Columbia, Georgia.

The NCBA Division I has 132 teams. Division II has 122 teams and Division III includes 35 teams. The Division III World Series will take place May 19-21 in Butler, Pennsylvania.

“With so many teams coast to coast,” Curitore said, “it will be nice to have a central location for the Division I and II World Series.”

The NCBA is comprised of club teams that are primarily student-led, but with a high level of play, he said.

“We’ve had players that for different reasons may have enrolled in college for different reasons in baseball, but they’ve gone on to teams at the college level and we’ve had some players that have gone on to professional baseball.”

Curitore said the NCBA will send a staff of 10 to 13 staff for each series and much-needed support will be provided by the River Dragons and Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau.

“We’re very excited,” Curitore said. “Hopkins Field is a fantastic facility with a lot of character, the area has been very welcoming and the support we’ve seen has been outstanding.”



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