Sports tournament duo produces millions for Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Sports tournament duo produces millions for Greenville

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The 4th Annual Black Bear Classic is back in Greenville this weekend. The tournament allows for high school athletes to showcase their skills to scouts from around the area, like the Venom Baseball team out of South Florida.

"This tournament has been fantastic,” said Coach Rich Durland. “People from South Carolina, along with hospitality, have been absolutely awesome."

Teams from the eastern part of the country travel to Greenville for the tournament. Jeff Poole, Greenville County’s tourism manager, says it’s a home run impact.

"This event is about $2.8 million in economic impact,” said Poole. “It's unique because of the number of teams that we mentioned -150 teams. It's also unique because of the duration. It's a 5 day tournament. "

On top of the baseball tournament, there is also swim meet this weekend. It's called the Dash and Splash and it features nearly 400 swimmers.

"It's about a $300,000 economic impact there too,” explained Poole, “So it's a very big weekend for sports tourism in Greenville County."

Those coaches, athletes and parents spending money in Greenville businesses is just another win for the area. Poole says they put on about 100 events each year.

David Montgomery with VisitGreenvilleSC says every year the sports tourism industry grows in the Upstate. He says hosting the NCAA tournament will keep attracting more events.

"We're tracking about 12 or 13 events just in 2017. The economic impact is about 11-13 million dollars,” explained Montgomery. “There is a lot of stuff that happens in this market that we're not aware of or involved with."

As for Coach Durland and his Venom squad, they hope this isn't their last trip to the Upstate.

"We love it here,” Durland said.

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