Triple Crown World Series tournaments bring estimated $3 million to Eagle County economy
Mountain Recreation says tournament is just one way sports bring exposure, tourism to Eagle County
With the summer comes a myriad of tournaments and sporting events, not only for local athletes but also for athletes from across the country. These events not only bring collaboration and competition but a chance for a different kind of tourist to experience Eagle County — and have an impact on the local economy.
One such event is the two Triple Crown World Series tournaments for baseball hosted across Mountain Recreation’s facilities in Eagle, Edwards and Gypsum. This year, according to an economic impact study conducted by Triple Crown, 64 teams participated in this year’s tournaments, bringing in just over $3 million to the local economy.
This number is calculated based on time spent in Eagle County by the teams and their spectators as well as money spent on food and beverage, local fuel and repair, lodging, entertainment as well as retail and other costs. These calculations negate the two local teams that participated in the tournaments.
This impact is valuable, not only to the Eagle County economy and local businesses but also to the youth participants.
“It provides a platform for kids to compete and learn with each other, in a beautiful setting,” said Matt Pilcher, the national series director for Triple Crown Sports.
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Mountain Recreation first came to host the Triple Crown World Series Tournaments in 2021, taking over the hosting from Steamboat Springs. The timing came just as the rec district completed its new building at the Eagle Sports Complex, built exactly for the volume these types of tournaments bring.
“Mountain Rec has beautiful turf facilities that are comparable to many of the other top facilities throughout the country,” Pilcher said. “The people who work for Mountain Rec are also great to work with. They are friendly and easy to work with. Eagle County is a beautiful destination that is easy to get to.”
A lot of these large baseball tournaments typically take place in destinations like California and Texas, making this a unique opportunity for Mountain Rec, said Brad Johnson, the Edwards facility supervisor for Mountain Recreation.
“It’s a great exposure for our district and the county in general because they’re bringing up teams from all over the nation,” Johnson said.
Additionally, the tournament saw an increase in participation year over year, growing from 48 to 64 teams this year. Last year, the economic impact was estimated to be around $1.3 million.
This growth of participation follows a similar trajectory of Eagle County youth sports, including baseball, in recent years.
“Our youth leagues are growing; everything grows every year as our population increases,” Johnson said, adding that this is particularly true for students between 12 years old and high school ages. “We’re seeing more competitive, travel teams popping up. The local little league charter organization runs that age level as well and they say they’re seeing an increase in those age levels as well.”
The Triple Crown tournaments serve this population as well, with brackets for 10-year-olds through 14-year-olds.
For baseball alone, Mountain Rec had 568 young athletes sign up for baseball this summer compared to 522 last year, 427 in 2020, and 476 in 2019.
The Triple Crown World Series tournaments are just one of many opportunities for exposure to the Eagle County community and bring in economic impact.
“We really work with our local organizations first and foremost and then really outside of that we try to schedule outside organizations to come In and utilize our fields,” Johnson said. “There’s not very many weekends or weekdays that we don’t have programming going on our outdoor facilities; they’re very heavy in usage and that’s great to see.”
From May to October, this includes numerous lacrosse and soccer tournaments, in addition to this big Triple Crown baseball event, that bring between 70 and 100 teams and their spectators to the area. In total, Johnson said that the impact is significant.
“I have the total impact right around $9.5 million to the valley that we see through these local tournaments, and about 103,000 people come through with these local tournaments,” Johnson said.