National Softball Association World Series to return to Region

Players and fans head for the fields at Crown Point’s Sportsplex. The National Softball Association “A” World Series for girls took place in Crown Point in 2016, and it will return this year.

John Luke photos, The Times

Our Region learned of a renewed Christmas gift last week with an announcement that the National Softball Association Northern World Series would return to Crown Point in 2018.

The youth fast-pitch softball tournament is a boon to our local economy whenever it comes to town, attracting as many as 10,000 visitors who inject more than $2 million into our local economy.

The announcement Thursday by Bill Horton, president of the association, that the tournament would return to the Crown Point sportsplex is a reminder of what our Region can accomplish when private and public interests realize the payoff in collaboration and common purpose.

Those tourism dollars are destined for our Region because Crown Point visionaries saw fit to harness public and private resources to build a first-class venue.

Philanthropy played a key role. The Dean and Barbara White Foundation donated the lion's share of money needed for the complex.

City leaders, including Crown Point Mayor David Uran, incorporated a quality-of-life vision and planning.

South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority officials have brought their crucial planning and marketing efforts to bear as well.

The association has hosted multiple annual events in the Hub City, which is becoming the Lake County seat in more than just name.

And it's paying off in more than just revenue for Region hotels and businesses.

Each tournament is an opportunity for our Region to put its best foot forward, demonstrating Northwest Indiana quality and hospitality to hundreds of visiting athletes and their families.

Our entire Region should salute and promote such efforts.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.