Vancleave businesses get economic boost from softball series`

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) – Vancleave is playing host to the Dixie Girl's Softball World Series. Small business owners say the tournament is boosting summer sales. Patrice Clark takes a closer look at the economic impact on this south Mississippi town.

Chants and cheers were heard at the Vancleave softball fields Tuesday as 22 girl teams battled it out to win the World Series title.

"We have approximately 2,600 people here. They come from as far as Halifax, Virginia to Crosby, Texas and everywhere in between," Softball League President Tim League said.

Some local restaurants are scoring sales thanks to large crowds at the softball tournament. The Shed barbecue and blues joint said since the tournament began Friday, it has seen a 15 percent jump in food sales.

"With the oil spill and the economy in general, anything that promotes business, our hospitality, and restaurants in the area is beneficial to everyone," Manger Cheryl Atkinson said.

Subway has been preparing hundreds of foot long sandwiches for ball players and their families all week. Employees admit the store needed this boost.

"Business has been slow, especially on Sundays. We have seen a lot more people coming in because of the ball games; teams are just rolling in," Subway employee Stephanie Casey said.

Small businesses like B-N-B Video and Pizza said Vancleave hit a home run by bringing the Softball World Series here. Owners hope community leaders can attract more large events and visitors to eat, shop, and spend money in the community.

"It is putting us on the map and we are excited about that," owner Mollie Gregory said.

Four South Mississippi teams and 18 out-of-town teams are competing for the World Series title.

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