Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority

VLPRA has brought nearly $4 MILLION of economic impact to Valdosta and Lowndes County in the last six months alone. Check out the Valdosta Daily Times article below to see how we have quietly become a huge force in local tourism!  You can see th...read more
****VOLLEYBALL REGISTRATION EXTENDED!!!! We're excited to introduce girls volleyball this fall!  Register your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grader now. VLPRA is also registering for our fall co-ed youth soccer league.  Sign up today...read more
Registration is open now for Fall Adult Softball and Men's Basketball. Our softball league operates out of Freedom Park and offers several options: Co-Ed league, Men's league, Women's league, and a Men's Church league.  It'...read more
Authority Board Meeting The Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority Board's next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27th at 4:30pm.  It will be held in the multi-purpose room at the VLPRA Administrative Office lo...read more
  • Register now for youth fall soccer & volleyball!

  • Register for Fall Ball NOW

  • Sign up for Adult Softball & Basketball

  • VLPRA Board & Committee Meetings

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august 2013

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NOTE:Please click on a date to find scheduled special events. For a complete listing of athletics or recreation, please refer to our online registration portal here.

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VLPRA has brought nearly $4 MILLION of economic impact to Valdosta and Lowndes County in the last six months alone. Check out the Valdosta Daily Times article below to see how we have quietly become a huge force in local tourism!  You can see the article on the VDT's website by clicking here.

The Business of Sport

Sports tournaments pump millions into local economy

By Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — You’re probably familiar with the sights and sounds of a summertime ball game: the crack of a bat, the thwack of a ball hitting a glove, the dust kicked up by a runner’s slide suspended in the setting sun.

What you might be less familiar with is the financial impact a game of baseball or softball can have on a community.

Two years ago, the Valdosta Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority started focusing more on baseball and softball tournaments, particularly adult tournaments.

“We have great facilities and we have a great location,” said VLPRA Executive Director George Page. “We’re three hours south of Atlanta. We’re three hours north of Tampa, Orlando area, central Florida. We’re right on I-75; I-10 is close; I-95 is a few hours away. We’re really in a great location.”

Page started attending conventions for the traveling sports tourism industry, exhibiting the ball fields, amenities and conveniences that Valdosta and Lowndes County have to offer.

Between those trips, word of mouth and the work of the rest of the VLPRA staff, Lowndes County’s reputation as a go-to venue for hosting tournaments solidified during the last couple of years.

VLPRA takes this reputation seriously; to keep it, the authority works to provide the best facilities possible for visiting teams.

Ball fields are laser graded and crowned each year; clay is added as well as in-field conditioner.

“We’re trying to take care of our fields and present the best possible product.”

A turf-management program is in place for all outfields and infields. They’re irrigated and fertilized and the outfield is dressed with sand.

It’s done to keep the fields looking good both for visiting tournaments and local teams, but it also helps manage the inevitable South Georgia rainfall.

“When you host tournaments, one of the things you want to make sure you do is finish the tournament. Sometimes you’ll get rain or inclement weather. It can rain an inch, inch and a half, and we’re playing baseball or softball tonight, whereas most places you go to you’re done for the day or the evening.”

The VLPRA also works to take care of the little things: emptying trash cans routinely, cleaning restrooms on the hour, picking up trash in the bleachers throughout the day.

“We want them to remember Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority as being the best.”

Utilizing Freedom Park, South Lowndes Recreation Complex and Vallotton ball fields, VLPRA has hosted 19 softball and baseball tournaments and six tennis tournaments so far this year.

These 25 combined tournaments have directly impacted the local economy to the tune of $2,522,276.

Direct impacts, as calculated by the Georgia Department of Tourism, consider things such as hotel rooms for out-of-town teams, gas purchased, meals bought and various supplies a traveling baseball team might need.

One tournament, the biggest, accounted for 1,298 hotel nights; in total, the last six months have accounted for more than 4,600 room nights.

The GDT also measures indirect impacts: restaurants hiring more servers for tournament weekends, a local clothing store having to order more shirts to replace stock purchased by visitors, the VLPRA hiring maintenance or ground crews to handle the weekend inflow of sports fans.

The indirect impact of the hosted tournaments this year is $1,356,082, for a total impact of $3,878,358.

By year’s end, Page hopes the VLPRA can break $6 million in total economic impact for 2014.

In the next few years, the VLPRA looks to diversify its facilities to go after a larger piece of the sports tourism industry.

“We really haven’t even scratched the surface on the sports tourism industry here in Valdosta-Lowndes County. We just started with baseball, tennis and softball. There’s many other areas we have not really gone after … soccer, basketball, volleyball, they are untapped right now. But trust me, we’ll be tapping into those markets in the very near future.”

****VOLLEYBALL REGISTRATION EXTENDED!!!!

We're excited to introduce girls volleyball this fall!  Register your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grader now.

VLPRA is also registering for our fall co-ed youth soccer league.  Sign up today!

 

Registration is open now for Fall Adult Softball and Men's Basketball.

Our softball league operates out of Freedom Park and offers several options: Co-Ed league, Men's league, Women's league, and a Men's Church league.  It's only $515 per team.  All games are at Freedom Park.  Click here to go to our Fall Adult Softball registration page.


Our Men's 30 & Over Basketball League os open to both community and church teams.  It operates out of our Mildred Hunter Community Center.  It's only $495 per team.  Games are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Click here to go to our Men's 30 & Over Basketball Registration page.

 

 

Authority Board Meeting
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority Board's next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27th at 4:30pm.  It will be held in the multi-purpose room at the VLPRA Administrative Office located at 1901 North Forrest Street.