Softball tournament drives in dollars for the twin cities

By Chad Weber

July 29, 2013 Updated Jul 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- A national softball tournament in Normal is expected knock in a home run for the local economy.

The Amateur Softball Association Girls 14 and Under National Championship Tournament started Monday.

With over 120 teams competing, organizers said it is the largest tournament of its kind ever to come to the area.

Expected revenue for the Bloomington-Normal area is over $2.5 million.

"It's a huge impact," said Normal Mayor Chris Koos. "There's 124 teams here. Parents, grandparents come into town. They are here for a week. They're eating in our restaurants, shopping in our shops."

"There's a huge selection of hotels," said Debbie Carney who came from Georgia, "We were surprised at how many nice hotels there were and it is just a beautiful area. The weather has been fantastic and the teams have enjoyed eating out and all the local shopping."

Organizers said they try to bring in an ASA tournament every other year and are already in the process of bidding on one for 2015.

The tournament runs through Sunday.