USA South will bring crowds, cash

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2019

For the third consecutive year, LaGrange will play host to the USA South Spring Sports Festival, which will be held in various locations across LaGrange beginning today and lasting through Sunday.

This event is brought to the county thanks to the combined effort of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce as well as the Troup County Parks and Recreation department, and will host conference tournaments for baseball, softball, golf, men’s and women’s tennis as well as men’s and women’s lacrosse.

The USA South Conference is made up of 18 teams from five states and includes LaGrange College. With a conference that large, the events will see approximately 1,000 student-athletes, along with their coaches, families and friends descend upon LaGrange. Competitions for the event will also be held all across the county, at Cleaveland Field in West Point, Shuford Field, LaGrange College, McCluskey Tennis Center and Callaway Stadium. All games are free for the public to watch, as well.

While the competition in the various conference tournaments will no doubt be fierce and high-level, the more immediate and more important fact – at least for the city – is the revenue generation possible from this event. Those visiting will obviously need places to stay, food to eat and attractions to take their minds’ off of the competition during down time.

The conference tournament may not sound like the most exciting event that has taken place over the last few weeks or months, but this event is less for the public than it is a revenue generation opportunity for the city.

Events such as these do reinforce the importance of tourism for LaGrange and the state. As an example, the tourism industry helped fund the salaries for more than 1,200 people in the year 2018 across the state. LaGrange’s tourism budget and finances have been under heavy scrutiny lately, however events like these do reinforce the importance of tourism in the county.

We hope you’ll get out this weekend and catch a game, while also recognizing the tournaments serve as a good cash cow for the city.