Hundreds flock to the Roaring Fork Valley for baseball’s Triple Crown World Series
Ten teams, 600 people expected for youth baseball tournament
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Ten little league teams and an estimated 600 people are expected to flock to the Roaring Fork Valley this week for the Roaring Fork Little League Baseball World Series.
Festivities for the regional tournament presented by Triple Crown Baseball officially kicked off in Snowmass Village on Tuesday with an opening ceremony outside The Collective in Base Village.
Little Leaguers ranging in age from 9 to 14 — plus their families and friends — will batter up on fields from Aspen to Glenwood Springs for five days as teams pursue the Roaring Fork World Series title. Players represent teams from Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Utah, Arkansas, New Mexico, Washington and Missouri.
“The destinations and facilities are perfect for a highly competitive end of the year national baseball tournament. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Triple Crown event director Matt Pilcher.
The initial seeding games are slated to begin Wednesday morning. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games with a double elimination playoff bracket design. Playoff seeding will take place Thursday night and playoff play will begin early Friday. Sunday is coined “champions day,” where a champion will be crowned for each age division.
Triple Crown Baseball also will be putting on a skills contest for the players. Some of the events of the contest include base-running, throwing accuracy and a home run derby. Once again, each contest will be divided by age division and will allow the players to show off some of their specialized baseball skills.
It was originally projected that thousands of people would be coming to the area with close to 30 teams attending, but some teams withdrew from the tournament.
“This is pretty typical whenever you have a tournament of this size. A couple teams are going to drop off the original scheduled teams list,” said Brian Smith, Glenwood Springs parks and recreation director.
Beyond the excitement of Little League baseball, the series brings the allure of bustling restaurants, hotels and downtown cores as participants make their way to the area. Glenwood Springs is one city that is expected to see an influx of people during what is already one of the busiest times of year.
“There’s been so much pent-up demand through the pandemic that people just want to get out and experience the mountains. We’ve had sellouts at lodges even on the weekdays and long waits at restaurants throughout town. (This) week is sure to be even busier with the arrival of youth baseball teams throughout the valley,” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism for Visit Glenwood.
“Close to half of the teams are staying in Glenwood Springs, so attendees of the event will be around the downtown area throughout the five days of the tournament,” Smith said.
Participants also could be spotted throughout Snowmass Village, a home base for the tournament, in the days leading up to competition.
Smith noted that the city of Glenwood extensively worked in advance to reserve hotel blocks in the area that would accommodate baseball teams as well as their family and friends.
Area municipalities and Triple Crown Baseball are under a three-year contract to host the tournament every summer until the contract expires.
There may be talks in the future to change the tournament date to earlier in the summer so the event doesn’t occur during the busiest part of the summer for the Roaring Fork Valley.
“We are trying to be careful not to inundate downtown during a time that is already very busy, so there will be food vendors at Sayre Park and Two Rivers Park to feed the teams and fans,” Smith said in response to what is being done to counteract the amount of people who will be flocking to the downtown area.
Snowmass Village will be jam-packed with sportsters; the series is just one of three major sporting events this week. The town also plays host to athletes competing on grass and sand courts in the Snowmass Doubles Volleyball tournament (Thursday to Sunday) and cyclists cranking through the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race on Saturday.
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