MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Tourists come to Myrtle Beach year-round, but one way the city draws visitors during the shoulder season is through sports. The city of Myrtle Beach hosts 10,000 visitors this weekend thanks to the several sporting events taking place.
Like the dozens of other teams at Senior Softball, Team Michigan travels across the country for tournaments, but they say there is more to the games than just showing up.
“I dedicate a lot of my life to softball and working out and making sure I can be the best I can be, and there’s just as much preparation that goes into that as there is in the travel arrangements; hotels,” Chuck Modd, a player on Team Michigan said.
The city of Myrtle Beach generates around $140 million from the various sporting events it hosts; half of that is during the high season alone.
“Obviously it peaks in the summer time, but we’re coming into the fall time where it’s really impactful because when we don’t have as many families here for week long vacations,” Tim Hubert, sports tourism director with the city of Myrtle Beach said.
Fall sports have already picked up with 10,000 visitors in town this weekend for softball, baseball, lacrosse and the mini marathon.
Athletes say the weather and the facilities keep them coming back.
“I love playing on the artificial turf. I’ve never played on artificial turf before. This is what I live for,” Kendall France, who plays for the Cincinnati Sixties said.
However, there is only one thing that keeps them playing the game.
“The comradery, the friendships that you develop throughout the years, as you can see, we’re a little older, but we still love to play this kids’ game,” Kevin Rochon who plays for the Cincinnati Sixties said.
“I love playing with these guys. We like to compete and have fun but when you play, I’ve built some wonderful friendships with these guys. We’re all getting older, and I think some day that’s going to mean more to use than actually winning championships,” Modd said.
City officials say they will continue to host around 10,000 visitors and generate around $2 million from sporting events every weekend from now until Thanksgiving.