TRENTON, NJ…Another Cal Ripken Baseball World Series is on its way to Ocala, Florida. Hosts of the 2010 and 2013 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series, as well as the 2014 Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old World Series, the Rotary Sportsplex of Marion County recently signed a contract with Babe Ruth League, Inc. International Headquarters to bring the Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series to Ocala in the summer of 2016.
The 2016 Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series will be played at the Ocala Rotary Sportsplex, which bustles with youth activity from soccer and youth baseball teams during their seasons. This 80-acre complex includes 11 lit baseball fields, two lit and three unlit soccer fields, one multi-use field, 13 batting cages (four indoor) and concessions.
In town for the contract signing, BRL Vice President/Commissioner Robert Faherty said, “Ocala earned the 2016 event because of its track record in hosting the previous championships. We are coming back because of the people, because of Marion County, because of the support of the community, and the support of the press. They’ve treated our children, our players, our teams so well.”
Ocala is the perfect place to relax and explore the best of Florida at your own pace. Rolling green pastures lead to crystal springs, gentle rivers and unspoiled lakes. Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” there are hundreds of horse farms in Ocala that gallop with thoroughbred natural charm and beauty. There are many engaging family attractions, such as Silver Springs’ Nature’s Theme Park, which features world famous Glass Bottom Boat rides, jeep rides, alligator feedings and more; and Wild Waters Water Park with its giant wave pool and thrilling rides. Families can also enjoy an endless array of unique shopping opportunities, captivating museums, and a wide variety of restaurants. In addition, there are many outdoor activities to top off your visit, such as golfing, hiking, biking, birding, kayaking, boat riding and tubing.
Hosting a Babe Ruth World Series can have a high economic impression on any community that plays host to the prestigious event, especially the local hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, outlets, businesses and resort areas. “Each team is expected to bring between 12 to 14 players, plus family members. Their families generally stay in the community for about 10 days. And every dollar that’s raised in the community stays here,” Faherty said. Corry Locke, Sports Marketing Specialist with the Ocala Visitors Convention Bureau, said, “A consulting firm hired by the Visitors Convention Bureau found the economic impact on Marion County from the 2014 Babe Ruth World Series was $1.9 million. Tourism officials are working now to schedule events for players and their families in 2016 so they’ll think of Marion County as a place to take a vacation, not just to play baseball.”
Babe Ruth League, Inc. is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing better citizens by providing properly supervised baseball and softball competition for 4 through 18-year-old players. It is the basic intent of Babe Ruth League that every player who has a desire to play the sport is given the opportunity to participate and have fun.