ROXANA, Del., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delaware's governor, senior United States senator, chief of economic development and dozens of other dignitaries crowded the meeting room at the Lower Sussex Little League Complex in southeastern Delaware on Monday, Jan. 7, to announce that Little League International has awarded a second youth sporting event to the nation's First State.
The announcement from Little League came on Dec. 20, but early January was the time for local and state officials to convene and officially recognize the accomplishment. In just a few short months, southern Delaware will be the only location in the world to host two separate World Series events.
Both the Senior League Softball World Series, which has been in southern Delaware since 2004, and the Big League Softball World Series will be held simultaneously from Aug. 4-10 at the state-of-the-art Lower Sussex Little League Complex in Roxana, Del., with six games being televised on the ESPN sports network.
"When the idea of hosting both World Series was first proposed, people thought I was crazy," said Martin Donovan, director of the Senior League Softball World Series and a local business leader. "But after considering what it would take and what it would mean to our area, it was an easy decision."
The move to southern Delaware means that a small area just a short distance away from the state's Atlantic coastline will now play host to 2 of the 8 Little League World Series events nationwide, including 2 of only 4 girls' events in the United States.
The combined event will become the largest international youth sporting event in Delaware, with 20 teams of approximately 15 players each attending, along with managers, coaches, team officials and parents who travel to watch their daughters play.
The event is expected to boost the local economy by as much as $2.5 million annually.
"This is really a big deal for a little state and a happy day for all of us," said U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware's senior senator and a former governor of the state. "You (volunteers) are doing a great thing and we're happy to draft on what you are doing."
Each tournament consists of six teams from the United States and one each from Europe, Asia-Pacific, Canada and Latin America, meaning a total of 20 teams will converge on the area this summer. Last year's Senior League winner hailed from Maunabo, Puerto Rico, while the Big League champion was from Manila, Philippines, the first non-American team to win that particular title.
The Delaware Sports Commission will begin using both World Series events to better position Delaware as a preeminent location in the sports and hospitality category. And southern Delaware has become a popular destination for youth sports in recent years in its own right, with venues and events including the expansive Sports at the Beach complex and the Senior League Softball World Series, as well as summertime activities ranging from skimboarding and surfing competitions to regional swimming events.
The dual World Series events will add even further to the area's allure. Says Delaware Gov. Jack Markell: "This is a big point of pride for our state and the kind of event that really shows Delaware at its best ... I just know we're going to knock it out of the park."
To learn more about the Little League Softball World Series events in southern Delaware, visit www.seniorsoftballws.org, or visit www.visitsoutherndelaware.com to learn more about all there is to see and do in Delaware's southernmost county.
Southern Delaware Tourism supports and encourages the identification, development and promotion of sustainable, year-round tourism in Southern Delaware that contributes to economic growth and improves the quality of life. For more information, call Southern Delaware Tourism at 302-856-1818 or visit their website, www.visitsoutherndelaware.com.
Contact: James Diehl
Southern Delaware Tourism
Media Relations Manager
This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.
SOURCE Southern Delaware Tourism