TAMPA, Fla. - Over 800 senior softball players from across the country are in Hillsborough County this weekend to participate in the 2006 Softball Players Association (SPA) Winter Nationals. This national championship event, featuring 45 teams in seven age divisions ranging from 50 to 80+, is being held at the Ed Radice Sports Complex and Greco Softball Complex. The competition, which runs through Sunday, is free and open to the public.
This is the first time the Winter Nationals have been held in Tampa. Teams from as far away as Connecticut, Indiana, and Ohio have made the trip to participate in the event. Each team travels with approximately 12-15 players on the roster.
“We are very, very excited about being in Tampa,” explained Ridge Hooks, executive director of the SPA. “It’s a great location and a great place for our teams to bring their spouses and have a chance to shop and be a part of the Florida experience. These are tremendous facilities, and we look forward to the opportunity to be here over the next few years and really build the tournament.”
“We are elated about the growth the softball market has experienced over the past year here in Hillsborough County,” said Jason Aughey, Sports Sales and Events Manager of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “To bring a premier senior softball organization like SPA, and one of their top events to Tampa, speaks volumes about our facilities and our destination. We are confident that once SPA experiences all of what Tampa has to offer that this winter national tournament will want to return every October.”
The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a division of the Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau. The organization’s mission is to attract, promote and/or organize major amateur sporting events, and grassroots youth sports programs, that foster the ongoing development and quality of life for the entire Tampa Bay area. In FY2006, the Sports Commission hosted more than 80 youth and amateur sporting events, and helped generate over 125,000 hotel room nights.
Ed Radice Sports Complex
4720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa, FL 33626
Greco Softball Complex
11000 North 50th Street, Tampa, FL 33617