WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The World Series has begun in Waterbury and it is a big economic hit throughout the Greater Waterbury area. But, this isn’t the typical MLB Fall Classic, it’s a Summer Classic where the best teams of 7 and 8 year-old players are battling each other for baseball supremacy in the Roberto Clemente World Series.
Waterbury’s championship tournament has attracted teams from all over the country, even Puerto Rico. Talk to the players and they’ll tell you this is big.
“We tried to get here and we succeeded,” said Stefanos Sorenson, a player on the Rockford Travelers from Northern Illinois. “It’s really mind-blowing to think that there are a few hundred of other teams out there that could’ve done this but we were the ones that got picked.”
Waterbury area businesses are having more fun because of baseball fever this summer — that’s because the parents of all of those little sluggers are spending a lot of money away from the ball fields.
“Oh, I would say hundreds,” said Renee Wheeler, from Rockford, Illinois. “Between hotel and gas and entertainment for these kids — just going out to eat, having fun.”
No definitive scoreboard is kept as to the overall economic impact, but, if you observe some individual examples, it’s easy to tell area businesses are cashing in.
Baseball is very, very good to them.
“Definitely very good,” said Ayman Agamy, General Manager at Wyndham Southbury.
Most of the teams are staying at his hotel, which is about 15 minutes from Municipal Stadium where many of the games are being played. At least 150 rooms over 4 nights are booked.
“Is there more business? Definitely,” Agamy said. “We have seen a huge impact in the area.”
And there’s more good news on deck. Waterbury will host two more youth baseball championships in the next two weeks.