PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - A bright and sunny Saturday morning started with the crack of a bat at the Pascagoula Sports Complex. A crowd of family, fans and baseball players flocked to the facility for Day 1 of the Great Southern Sports Association’s Frostbite Challenge.
“Everybody comes together over a little game like baseball,” Gulf Coast Regional Director Will Harrington said.
For the first time this year, players filled the dug outs, stepped up to the plate and swung at pitches at the sports complex.
“It’s a great park,” Harrington said. “I love being here. It’s one of my favorites, and we go all over the place.”
Fans stayed bundled up while also enjoying the ground’s many amenities.
“The staff here is great, the food is great and the field is great, some of the best fields you will find around here.” Harrington said.
While the Gulf Coast’s newest facility adds a better fan and player experience, it also brings in new people to Pascagoula.
‘It’s great,” Harrington said. “Especially what it’s going to mean for the city, what it’s going to bring to the city.”
Among the 21 events scheduled between February and August, officials estimated at least 30,000 visitors will come to see action on the diamond, with each event bringing an average of 1,350.
“Sports bring people together. We saw it after the pandemic,” Harrington said.
And while people are happy to see a boost in the city’s economy, they also enjoy seeing the next generation engage with baseball and softball.
“That’s what it’s really about at the end of the day is getting all these people in here to support these little kids.” Harrington said.