Walker cites City of Ruston experience for return of Dixie World Series this summer

North Louisiana saw an economic impact of $6.2 million when the Ruston Sports Complex hosted the 2019 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.

By Malcolm Butler

Ruston made an impression back in 2019.

When the Dixie Youth Baseball Division I and II World Series found itself in need of a place to go this summer, the organization came calling.

For the second time in five years the Ruston Sports Complex will host the event scheduled to run from July 26 to August 9. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said it is a result of the job that was done the first time around in 2019.

“They were scheduled to go to another city this year and ran into a problem, and they reached out to us immediately,” said Walker. “It’s huge. They already know our facility and our community. They told us after the last time they would love to come back. I think them coming to us points directly to the wonderful experience all the participating teams and families had back in 2019.

“The thing that stands out is they came to us. They play these tournaments all over the country and for them to reach out to us when they needed a place to go speaks volumes.”

Ruston hosted the DYB World Series in July and August of 2019. The event drew in 76 teams from across the country and 13,000 fans, resulting in an economic impact of over $6.2M for North Louisiana. The event was later honored as a 2019 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by sporting events planner publication Sports Destination Management.

“We are all about large regional tournaments, national tournaments, coming here,” said Walker. “That is why we immediately trademarked the saying that Ruston was the ‘Sports Capital of the South.’ We feel like we really are.”

Walker said he isn’t 100 percent sure how many teams will participate this summer, but that he feels it will have another huge economic impact on the Lincoln Parish area.

“If we have the exact same number of teams (as we did in 2019) then I would expect the (economic impact) may be even larger,” said Walker. “We have more restaurants and hotels and Air B&Bs now. More RV spots. It’s going to be huge for our area once again, and we couldn’t be more excited to be the host.”

Not only will the event create more dollars for our area, but it will provide a great opportunity to showcase Ruston and the surrounding area.

“We are looking forward to welcoming DYB teams and their families to Ruston, LA,” said Amanda Carrier, Experience Ruston President/CEO in a release put out by the city on Monday. “This event had a tremendous impact on our community in 2019 and we anticipate another successful event.”

Experience Ruston will be working with area hotels, restaurants, and attractions in the coming weeks to prepare for the event.


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