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Wednesday January 21, 2015

After a successful three-year partnership, officials from the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) have committed to returning to Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia to host their Mid-Atlantic and District III tournaments at Hooker Field.

The NCBA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Division I officials renewed a two-year contract and will host their championship tournaments on May 8-10, 2015 and again on May 13-15, 2016. Officials from the District III, Division II chose to renew their contract for one year and will host a championship tournament on May 1-3, 2015. The tournaments in Martinsville will determine which teams move forward to the NCBA’s National Championship.

The Martinsville-Henry County EDC’s Tourism Office and City of Martinsville worked with NCBA officials for the past several months to negotiate renewal contracts. One factor that played heavily into the decision making-process was the quality of Hooker Field’s playing surface which had deteriorated in past years. Flaws in the field surface and the players’ feedback caused concern for tournament officials following the 2014 season. Since then, a community collaboration among several entities was organized to refurbish the infield with artificial turf.

According to Christian Smith, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the NCBA, “The 2015 Mid Atlantic Regional Tournament will mark the 4th consecutive year the event has been held in Martinsville at Hooker Field.  With improvements made to the field each year, the decision for the NCBA to bring back the Mid Atlantic Regional gets easier and easier.  That was certainly the case with the installment of turf on the infield.  From an event planning standpoint, turf is a HUGE plus for us and was a major reason we decided to bring this event back for 2015 and 2016.  The NCBA is extremely excited to get back down to Martinsville and Hooker Field and I know the four participating teams will be too!”

During each double-elimination tournament, four college club teams will travel to our area to compete. Athletes are required to stay at a host hotel, designated by the tournament officials and their families and friends are encouraged to stay at local accommodations. The Quality-Dutch Inn in Collinsville has been selected by the NCBA to host the athletes for a fourth consecutive year. According to Tammy Bowles, Director of Sales and Marketing for the hotel, “We are thrilled that the NCBA has chosen us as their host hotel.  The revenue it brings to the community is greatly needed and appreciated.  The teams are a pleasure to work with and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

At the 2014 events, fans coming to support the teams drove in from Connecticut, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and from throughout Virginia. Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County explained that “Hosting regional sporting events is a powerful marketing opportunity to showcase our community to consumers across the US that might have never heard of Martinsville or ever considered visiting here before.” At the NCBA’s 2014 District III tournament, Linda Pitts and her family from South Carolina enjoyed camping at Philpott Lake while attending the tournament. After discovering more about things to do in the area, the Pitts family decided to stay an additional day after the tournament so they could explore more of the community . Pitts commented, “Everyone here is so friendly and it is beautiful - we are certainly enjoying our time here in Martinsville.”

The tournaments are presented in partnership between the NCBA, the EDC’s Tourism Division, City of Martinsville, Martinsville Community Recreation Association and Martinsville Mustangs, For additional information on the upcoming tournaments or to learn about sponsorships and promotional opportunities, please contact Doss at 276.403.5949.  



Tags: Baseball, Entertainment, Hooker Field, Insider's Tips, Local Business, Martinsville, Martinsville Mustangs, ,