The La Ley Sports Complex will be abuzz for the next two weeks as two baseball tournaments will be coming to Homestead.
First up is the third annual Baseball Summer Classic, which begins tonight and runs through August 2nd.
Beginning on August 3rd, La Ley will host the 2012 World Vs. States Tournament with the finals being played on August 9th.
The two weeks of almost non-stop action brings baseball teams from throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as Canada, New York, Florida, and other states to Homestead.
Approximately 100 teams in age categories from eight to eighteen are scheduled to compete in the two tournaments.
“These are high quality teams and we will have live broadcasting as well as topnotch, real time statistic reporting,” said John H. Ruiz, Founder and President of La Ley Sports, in a telephone interview. “We have put around $200,000 or so into preparation for the tournaments. Our fields are pristine and we have made other improvements to the facilities. We are happy with the support from the city of Homestead. Mayor Steve Bateman and Councilmember Elvis Maldonado are scheduled to throw out the first pitches.”
What can people expect to see over the next two weeks? Teams from Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, among others with the players grouped in two-year brackets (Ages 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18).
There will be a 5-game guarantee on the Major League quality fields and stadium, as the players compete against teams from around the world. For many teams, this will be their first opportunity to experience games that provide professional sports announcers and scorekeepers.
There is more than excitement for baseball fans though since the tournament will bring approximately 1,100 players and an average of three additional people per player such as coaches and parents.
Other spectators will come from a wide area. This translates into 5,000 people or more being in Homestead and Florida City for the two week period. Past figures indicate the tournament and logistics activity such as lodging will generate at least $5,000,000 of revenue for local businesses. That economic boost does not mean high ticket prices though with entry price set at only $5.
“This is a chance to come see great players, and meet international teams,” Ruiz said. “It’s for anyone who loves baseball.”
The La Ley Sports Complex is located at 1601 SE 28th Ave. in Homestead. You can find more information on their website www.laley-sports.com or by calling (305) 773-7987
Follow Charlie Hudson on Twitter @chudsonSDNL