Ed Smith to host several youth baseball tournaments

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 10:13 pm | Updated: 10:35 pm, Fri May 3, 2013.

SARASOTA - More than 18,000 people are expected to descend on the Suncoast for several youth baseball tournaments scheduled for this summer.

The Baltimore Orioles and Visit Sarasota County say the tournaments will take place at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O'Neil baseball complex in Twin Lakes Park.

"It's a win-win. We are getting them here and hopefully they will come back as visitors in the future," said Nicole Rissler, the Director of Sports for Visit Sarasota County.

The largest tournament taking place will be Prospect Wire's Amateur Summer State Championship. It's the largest baseball tournament in the state.

"It's certainly a ripple effect. We know that. The teams come in, they stay in hotels, eat at our restaurants, hopefully visit our beaches, go to attractions and spend money here," said Rissler.

Rissler expects millions of dollars to be generated for the area in response to the tournaments. Ricky Cokley, the cook and manager at Kay's BBQ hopes some of that money will be spent at his restaurant. The dining establishment is located directly across the street from Ed Smith.

"I am very excited about the folks coming in from other parts of the state. We don't get many tourists. It's good to see new faces," said Cokley.

The baseball tournaments aren't the only big sporting events taking place in Sarasota County over the next few months. From June 1-13, the Pan American Masters Swimming Championship will take place at the Selby Aquatic Center. It's another event officials expect the area to benefit from greatly.

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