Cameras at Grand Park help boost sports tourism

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Nearly 150 days every year on the Grand Strand, ball players from across the country strap on their batting gloves, warm up in the on-deck circle, and step up to the plate.

Myrtle Beach facilities host dozens of tournaments, and they want to make sure the teams and organizers keep coming back.

"It wasn't really that hard of a decision," laughed Tim Huber, Sports Tourism Division Manager for the City of Myrtle Beach.

As Myrtle Beach continues to grow sports tourism, places like Grand Park are now installing cameras, because not all parents can make it to the games. Now it's now easier than ever to watch from home.

Tim Huber pushed to get the cameras on each of the fields and never realized the possibilities. What started out as simply a way for friends and family to watch their kids' ball games could now be a way to propel Myrtle Beach ahead of the other sports tourism destinations in the country.

"State of the art facilities, first class experience, really making it the amateur sports tourism destination," said Huber.

The cameras are helping to generate more sports related revenue, helping the city keep and bring in new tournaments, and even benefiting the kids.

"Some of these older kids, we had a parent up here that said, 'hey the college coach that we want to see this needs to get it, help me get that to him,'" said Huber.

All games are archived on Grand Park's website so kids can go back and watch their favorite plays over and over. They can even make their own highlight reels and then post the on any type of social media.

"The live stuff is great, but the after use is going to be just as popular I think," explained Huber.

The new technology is even sparking interest in nearby Horry-Georgetown Tech. The school's sports tourism department is working to create a program where students help in the production of various games.

Huber says at this point they can't predict the what other benefits they will find from the cameras, but he believes it will be a win for everyone.

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