The Greater Columbus Sports Commission first won the bid to hold the Gay Softball World Series in 2010.
It did so again in 2015, and was successful in securing the event for 2020.
In 2015, it was estimated the event that brought in hundreds of teams from around the country and parts of Canada would spur $5 million in economic impact for the city.
The estimates for 2020 are pushing around $7 million with the increased number of teams.
Columbus was an attractive city for the event, according to board members with the NAGAAA, the organization that holds the event.
Few other cities can compete with the convenience the Lou Berliner Sports Park offers such an event.
Currently, the GSWS is being held in Tampa Bay, FL and the games are being held at five different venues all over the city.
Hotel accommodations that are within walking distance are also a plus for the Columbus bid which had to beat other major cities like San Francisco, which holds a place in some hearts since it was the birthplace of the event.
The event will add to the list of major national events that have chosen Ohio in recent years.
In Columbus, the NCAA Women’s Final Four was held earlier this year, and a few years ago the NHL All Star game came to town.
Bringing these high level events to Columbus not only spurs economic impact, but it increases the cities profile and touches on quality of life issues as well according to Linda Logan, the executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
“Columbus is quickly earning a great reputation for national events. We’re competing with the biggest cities in the country and we’re coming away with the wins many times now,” said Logan. “Not only are there some legacies that will happen here at the ballpark, but also with a lot of charities in the community and it really does showcase Columbus as a great open community.”
Bringing more events to Ohio could become easier if a bill going through the legislature can make it through the Senate this fall.
The bill has already passed the House and would provide grants to organizations to bring in events.
Right now, the Gay Softball World Series would not qualify for the grant, but the NAGAAA tells me that could be changing in the near future, which would allow the sports commission to be even more competitive with their bids.
The grant program would not simply give money away to any event. There are specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify, including a sales tax amount trigger that must be reached.