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Posted on: December 19, 2023

Turf Improvements at Baseball Complex Attract Top Tournaments

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Teams are lining up to play, more than doubling the number of tournaments from 2023 

(BRANSON, Mo, 12/19/23) – A project at the Branson Parks & Recreation’s baseball and softball fields to convert dirt and grass fields into an all turf complex has caught the attention of some of the nation’s top baseball and softball groups with a result that is expected to dramatically increase the economic impact to the City of Branson in 2024. The complex hosted 13 baseball and softball tournaments in 2023, including 4 World Series, which brought in an estimated $18,400,000 in economic impact. In 2024, the Parks Department is expected to more than double that number with a projected 28 tournaments.

“We are already seeing the positive impact of converting to turf. Our numbers are skyrocketing because we can now provide a higher-end experience on fields that aren’t constrained by rain delays, one of the biggest disadvantages to dirt fields and considered a risk factor by event organizers who select tournament locations,” said Branson Parks & Recreation Director, Cindy Shook.

This turf project has attracted both long-standing partnerships with KC Sports, USSSA and FASA Softball, but has also attracted new partnerships with GMB, Top Gun Sports and Bullet Athletics along with collegiate softball programs from the NCAA, NAIA and Junior College divisions. Construction started in November and will include installing synthetic turf in the 4-ballfield complex, upgrading all lighting to LED and installing shade structures with hopes to keep attracting overnight visitors to the Branson area for sporting events.

“Not only are we able to significantly impact the local economy with the increase of tournaments, but this project also aligns with our long-term goals in the Community Plan and the Park's Strategic Plan to improve and expand the Branson RecPlex to benefit our local community. And we are doing it utilizing grant money,” said Shook.

The project is funded by a 50% matching American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grant in the amount of $1,592,663 designed to support the statewide recovery of the tourism industries from the COVID-19 pandemic and was announced by the Governor’s office earlier this year. 

“My team worked hard to get this grant. Since it was announced, things have been moving very quickly. Construction crews have already completed demolition of the dirt and grass and are now installing the subgrade in preparation for the turf.   This upcoming year is going to be one for the books,” said Shook.

The project is expected to be complete by March 29, 2024, with a scheduled grand opening on April 5.

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