The Baltimore Orioles will host one of the nation’s top amateur baseball tournaments, the Wilson Premier Classic, in Sarasota from September 15-18 at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park.
“The Wilson Premier Classic showcases young amateur players for dozens of professional and college scouts,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota. “We expect approximately 1,000 players and coaches from across the nation who are eager to play at a Major League Baseball complex in a community known for sunshine and hospitality. We should see a healthy boost to the local economy from accommodations, dining, and shopping as players, coaches, and families attend the four-day event.”
The Wilson Premier Classic is one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments the Orioles have drawn to Sarasota County. The tournament will include 130 games using the five fields at Buck O’Neil complex, as well as the main field and three practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium.
A catalyst for sports tourism in Sarasota County, the Orioles hosted the week-long AAU National Championship tournament at the Buck O’Neil complex in July. Approximately 600 players on 30 teams competed, representing 15 states and Puerto Rico.
Baseball tournaments, camps, and clinics hosted by the Orioles in Sarasota County draw more than 25,000 participants and spectators each year. Many of these players, families, and coaches travel from outside the local community for multi-day events.
An economic impact analysis by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles’ corporate presence through Spring Training and year-round baseball activities, as well as the club’s promotion of entertainment and tourism, generated approximately $81 million in the Greater Sarasota community in 2015.
Whether hosting youth activities, participating in charitable causes, or partnering in efforts to boost the local economy, the Orioles are active in the region all year long, proving that their commitment to the club’s southern home goes far beyond baseball.