ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sunday wraps up a big youth baseball tournament happening at the Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex – and it’s a big win for Albuquerque. Over the past two weeks, a total of 56 youth baseball teams from across the country made their way to Albuquerque for the Texas Premier New Balance Championship.
“The facilities are beautiful. Everyone’s so welcoming. It’s so beautiful,” said Julie Connor, who traveled with her son from Austin, Texas for the tournament. The sports competition is a big hit for the City of Albuquerque.
“Our city and surrounding communities made a big push for sports tourism. And this is a really good example of it,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
Visit ABQ estimates this tournament alone will bring $1.1 million to the local economy. “That comes from these teams staying at our hotels, eating at our restaurants. [I] had a story last week of a team of 40 people going up the tram and going to a restaurant together,” said Angie Jepsen, director of sports development for Visit ABQ. This is the third time this tournament has been held here.
“Having a venue of this caliber to be able to host these events has been extremely important for us to be able to bring events here,” said Jepsen. It allows local teams to play at home while showcasing to visitors all New Mexico has to offer.
“Of course, we can’t take our eyes off the mountains. Every time we’re driving, we’re taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful view here,” said Connor.
The city hopes to bring more sports competitions like this to the city, including more opportunities for female athletes. The city is currently renovating five softball fields at Los Altos Park, which it hopes will become a home for softball tournaments. Renovations at Los Altos Park are expected to be completed later this year.