Warner Robins Prepares for Little League Tournaments

6:08 PM, Jul 26, 2010   |    comments
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The Little League ball players coming to Warner Robins for the city's first Southeastern Regional Tournament expect big hits.

The two week stretch of games that starts Thursday, could also mean a win for area businesses.

Dustin Hickman manages a Subway store on Highway 96. He says the lunch crowd makes-up the meat of his business. He hopes Little League visitors to the area, add a little extra.

Hickman said, "I put a couple of more people on the schedule. Crossing our fingers."

Hickman and businesses located at the bustling intersection of Highway 96 and Lake Joy Road, want to cash in on the estimated 5,000 extra cars passing through each day, for the next two weeks.

All of them will be headed to watch Little League, less than a half mile away on Snellgrove Drive.

Regional Director Jen Colvin expects a "unique" inaugural year, with the Warner Robins All-Star girls securing a spot in the tournament, and the boys in the running. The girls play at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, 10:00 a.m. on Friday, and at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Colvin said, "For us, coming from St. Petersburg, it's going to be overwhelming based on the numbers I'm hearing them predict."

Executive Director of the Warner Robins Convention and Visitors Bureau Marsha Priest-Buzzell, estimates a total of 8,000 people will attend the games. Based on numbers from other Little League tournaments around the country, Buzzell says the Little League fans will generate a $1.7 million impact for the community.

Buzzell says gas and food will make up the majority of the spending. She estimates that 80-percent of the people at the games will be from Central Georgia, saying most will not stay in a hotel.

Owner of a Shane's Rib Shack location on Lake Joy Road, Danny Rosales thinks the people on day trips will be hungry. Rosales said, "We have high expectations for this location here."

He's running behind on the opening of his location. So, he will miss the traffic for the softball tournament, but as the closest restaurant to the stadium, Rosales says he will be ready for the boys baseball tournament. That one starts August 7th.

Captain Todd Edwards with the Warner Robins Police Department says Little League fans should park in the Flint Fields parking lot, off Snellgrove Drive. All traffic will enter and exit from Cohen Walker Drive. Edwards said police will open overflow parking lots near the intersection of Snellgrove Drive and Cohen Walker Drive, if needed.

Edwards said they do not plan to close any roads in the area, but a portion of Snellgrove Drive will be blocked. Only people with vendor or handicapped permits can drive on the portion of that road that goes directly past the stadium and connects with Hunt Road.

Admission to the games is free, and tickets are not required.

Colvin said people may bring chairs and blankets to the game, but coolers are not permitted.

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