By Paul Morello
NORMAL - The Twin Cities is the center of the Illinois college softball scene this weekend.
Champion Fields is hosting the 5th annual State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championships.
Matt Hawkins, Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing Manager, said the estimated economic impact of the event is $45,000.
"Having a softball tournament kind of in the middle of fall like this is something that I think a lot of people enjoy. We've had a lot of luck with parents and fans coming to town for the weekend to enjoy the games," he said.
Illinois State, Bradley, DePaul, Eastern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois-Springfield, Central College, Lake Land College are all participating.
"This was something that was born out of the Sports Commission to enhance the economy by bringing in visitors to the area and by creating another event for the locals come check out," Hawkins said.
There will be 24 games played over the two days. Tournament play begins Saturday at 12 p.m. Tickets for adults are $20 for the weekend, and are $12 for youth and seniors.
Illinois State will face the University of Illinois Springfield and Southern Illinois Edwardsville Saturday.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.