QUINCY — This summer, Quincy will play host to multiple youth baseball tournaments that organizers say will feature about 100 teams from Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, according to tournament director Darin Dodd.
Games in the sporting event, known as QTown Tournaments, will be held at Moorman Park and at Quincy University's baseball stadium.
"We will typically play three tournaments in a weekend, with most tournaments featuring six to eight teams," Dodd said. "Teams will begin with pool play, where they will play two or three games before being seeded in a bracket. Our Sunday games will be bracket-style play with single elimination games until we get a champion."
The teams will compete in divisions based on the players' age. The youngest division is for 8-year-olds and the oldest is for 14-year-olds.
"On any given weekend, if we have three tournaments going, we expect 20 teams to be in Quincy for those tournaments," Dodd said. Currently, 57 teams are registered to compete. Dodd said he is relying on social media and word-of-mouth to recruit additional teams.
"We are constantly trying to get our name out there. This is our first year, and we are only expecting it to grow from here. We have some tournament weekends that are close to getting full, so we are optimistic," Dodd said. ?Dodd said he saw the need for creating the tournament after spring and summer rains in the St. Louis area delayed tournaments.
"A lot of the ball complexes in St. Louis are all dirt fields. Although having turf doesn't guarantee that you won't have rainouts, it does increase your odds that you will get your games in," Dodd said. The fields at Moorman Park, which will be the site for 18 tournaments, are turf infields. Four tournaments will be held at QU Stadium.
"The kids got really excited about playing (in QU's) stadium where there are real dugouts, where music is playing between the innings. They felt like they were really big-time players. It was a really neat experience for them," Dodd said.
"Neat experiences" is what Quincy Park District Recreation Program Manager Tyler Laing hopes families will have in Moorman Park. The 80-acre park features walking trails, playgrounds, a disc golf course, batting cages, a kayak beach, a sand volleyball court, and multipurpose courts for basketball, tennis, and soccer.
"I think this is a great opportunity" for Quincy. "This is a great opportunity for (the Park District) because we have so many facilities at the park. We know that when the tournament is going on that families will have lots of opportunities in between the games to go explore and just enjoy the park," Laing said.
And when they aren't exploring the park, Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Holly Cain said those families will likely be exploring Quincy.
"In between the games, these kids are going to drag their parents to the District, to the mall, and to the Commons to go shopping," she said. "They are going to be going to our restaurants. They are going to be in our stores. They are going to be enjoying the attractions that we have here like Scotties Fun Spot and others. This is a true win-win for Quincy and for the businesses that we have here."
Cain said the industry standard is that out-of-town sports tourists and families will spend $250 per day, which includes hotel, dining, retail and entertainment costs. She also said QTown Tournaments has the potential to earn the distinction of bringing the most out-of-town guests to Quincy.
"This has the potential to be huge; a real economic engine for our city, especially right before the tourism season officially kicks off here," Cain said. "As a sports mom, who has traveled for youth sports, I know that these weekends are often multi-generational where you have siblings, grandparents and other family members also coming. While we hope they enjoy the tournament, we also hope that they see something that makes them want to come back and spend more time in Quincy."