Wilson Premier Classic to be held Sept. 15-18
The Baltimore Orioles will host one of the nation’s top amateur baseball tournaments, the Wilson Premier Classic, in Sarasota from Sept. 15-18 at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, the Major League Baseball team has announced.
“The Wilson Premier Classic showcases young amateur players for dozens of professional and college scouts,” said David Roving, vice president of Orioles-Sarasota, in a news release. “We expect approximately 1,000 players and coaches from across the nation who are eager to play at a Major League Baseball complex in a community known for sunshine and hospitality,” he added in the release. “We should see a healthy boost to the local economy from accommodations, dining and shopping as players, coaches and families attend the four-day event.”
“The Wilson Premier Classic is one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments the Orioles have drawn to Sarasota County,” the release continues. The tournament will feature 130 games, using the five fields at the Buck O’Neil complex, as well as the main field and three practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium, it explains.
The Orioles hosted the weeklong AAU National Championship tournament at the Buck O’Neil complex in July, the release points out. Approximately 600 players on 30 teams competed in that event, representing 15 states and Puerto Rico, the release adds.
Baseball tournaments, camps, and clinics hosted by the Orioles in Sarasota County draw more than 25,000 participants and spectators each year, the release notes. “Many of these players, families, and coaches travel from outside the local community for multi-day events,” it says.
An economic impact analysis by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles’ corporate presence through Spring Training and year-round baseball activities, as well as the club’s promotion of entertainment and tourism, generated approximately $81 million in the Greater Sarasota community in 2015, the release points out.