Sports Business and Travel & Tourism

Region’s pitch lands international sports competitions

August 11, 2017
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The 71st annual ISC Men’s World Tournament of fastpitch softball will be held at Rockford’s Art Van Sports Complex August 12-19. Courtesy International Softball Congress

The West Michigan Sports Commission is bringing another $2.2 million in economic impact to the region.

One week after the 2017 Meijer State Games of America brought an estimated $10 million into West Michigan, the WMSC is hosting the 2017 International Softball Congress Men’s World Tournament and 2017 PDGA Professional Masters Disc Golf World Championship this week. Both events run Aug. 12-19 and will bring 1,000 athletes from 17 countries who will book an estimated 3,000 hotel rooms through the week.

“We’re on a streak when it comes to hosting prestigious national and international sporting events, from last week’s State Games of America to this week’s two international tournaments,” WMSC President Mike Guswiler said. “It’s a testament to West Michigan’s stellar athletic facilities and visitor hospitality that we continue to attract tournaments of this caliber that are being enjoyed by an international audience.”

2017 ISC Men’s World Tournament

The 71st annual ISC Men’s World Tournament of fastpitch softball will be held at Rockford’s Art Van Sports Complex, 3300 10 Mile Road NE. The tournament, which ISC Executive Director Larry Fisher called “the elitist of the elite,” features 53 teams with 800 players from 15 countries and 22 states.

The tournament has previously been held in Saginaw (1981) and Midland (2010, 2012), but this is the first time it has been brought to West Michigan. The WMSC successfully won a bid for the event last year.

“Michigan has a lot of fastpitch teams in the state, which is something we look for when selecting our next location,” Fisher said. “Plus, the Art Van Sports Complex is a beautiful facility — we’re looking forward to bringing the tournament there.”

Week passes for the tournament can be purchased for $20 for kids aged 11 to 17 and $30 for adults. Day passes are $4 for children and $6 for adults. Children 10 and under receive free admission.

An on-site beer garden is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. except Sunday, when it opens at noon.

2017 PDGA Professional Masters Disc Golf World Championships

The 2017 PDGA Professional Masters Disc Golf World Championships will be hosted at multiple Kent County disc golf courses — including Black Falcon in Kent City, Blue Gill in Wayland, Grand Rapids Rotary Park in Belmont, Earl Brewer Park in Byron Center and Fallasburg Park in Lowell — anchored by the main course at Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave. NE, which will host the championship Aug. 19.

Nearly 200 professional disc golfers aged 40 and older from the U.S., Canada and three other countries will participate in the week-long event, which is free to spectators.

“The PDGA is thrilled to showcase the community of Grand Rapids during this event,” PDGA Events Manager Mike Downes said. “The River City Disc Golf Club and West Michigan Sports Commission have consistently embodied the principles employed by the PDGA, and we are excited and confident in their ability to host an outstanding Masters event.”

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