1,200 college athletes spend Spring Break in Myrtle Beach for 20 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

1,200 college athletes spend Spring Break in Myrtle Beach for 2018 Shamrock Invitational

(Source: Holly DeLoache) (Source: Holly DeLoache)
(Source: Holly DeLoache) (Source: Holly DeLoache)
(Source: Holly DeLoache) (Source: Holly DeLoache)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's spring break season, but for college athletes, that means something a little different. Almost 1,200 collegiate track and field athletes spent their week here in Myrtle Beach, preparing for the Shamrock Invitational at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. 

Thirty-seven different schools were represented. Some came from as close as Conway, but from as far as Canada.

Jeff Jacobs, the Meet Director, said he started planning this year’s event in April of last year recruiting colleges, officials, event staff, and of course, the logistics of organizing the event schedule, seed and heat times. He said this year was even more exciting than year’s past because of the renovations Doug Shaw Stadium has seen.

“The schools that have been coming for years have been really positive about the renovations. They're just so impressed. The stands, the new press box, the new scoreboard, the sound system, the track has been completely resurfaced and we can sprint now in front of the main Grand Strand,” he said.

The Shamrock Invitational is also a huge opportunity for the city of Myrtle Beach to capitalize on sports tourism revenue.

"The revenue can absolutely, to the city, be calculated to the millions. We're talking about groups of 50 and 60 that are staying for some 7, 8 or 9 nights. Some have even done both meets, last weekend and this weekend, so not only are they staying in the hotels, they're eating, going out to the entertainment venues. The impact is tremendous for the last two weeks that we have and we still have one more weekend for the high schools the first weekend of April,” Jacobs said.

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