Plans to move more sporting events to the Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Now that both Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach have multi-million dollar sports facilities up and running, the pressure is on organizers to keep the ball fields and parks booked year round with events.

Myrtle Beach Sports Tourism Manager Tim Huber said keeping the fields at the Grand Park Sports Complex booked during the summer season is not a problem, but the focus is now on finding new ways to book fields for tournaments during the shoulder season.

"There were three weekends in January where we didn't have activities now those events aren't just falling off a tree," said Huber. "You have to develop some of those but that area and strengthening some of our events in February and March."

The new North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex has been open less than a week but it is already full of college softball teams holding spring training on the Grand Strand versus traveling all the way from their schools in the northeast down to Florida like in years past.

"What they found is we are a much more affordable option obviously half the distance to Florida," said Superintendent of Sports Tourism/Athletics Matt Gibbons. "Also their family and friends are more likely to travel with them here than they are to hop on a plane and go to Florida.

Gibbons said the goal now is to bring in more sports tournaments in addition to soccer and softball events.

"We really feel lacrosse the next big sport to hit our area it seems to have a bigger base of people that are willing to come here," added Gibbons.

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