By Lethbridge Herald on June 26, 2015.
Softball Valley is in demand, and the complex is hosting the NSA Co-Ed World Series from July 31-Aug. 2.
The event features as many as 160 softball teams from across Canada and will involve diamonds at Dave Elton and at the Coaldale Quads as well as Spitz Stadium. Softball Valleyâ€™s 10 diamonds will be working overtime and the event will also fill hotels and campgrounds throughout the area.
Itâ€™s an annual tournament which has been hosted in Calgary for 18 years. Facility manager Hank Stoffer said itâ€™s likely the biggest softball tournament hosted by the area and is a great fit for his complex and the diamonds in the city and Coaldale.
â€œI get people always asking me â€˜Whatâ€™s the closest hotelâ€™ and I tell them that in Lethbridge, youâ€™re always just 15 minutes away,â€ said Stoffer. â€œItâ€™s going to be a good tournament. Itâ€™ll be a busy week but we can handle the workload, especially on that weekend.â€
Stoffer said the NSA Canada has inquired about the facility hosting this before, but the dates didnâ€™t work. Softball Valley, Stoffer said, is booked up this season. It passes 350 players a night through its diamonds and registration is at a high this year.
â€œWeâ€™re pretty much full. We added 15 new teams this year and now weâ€™re looking at maybe adding another diamond,â€ he said.
The facility is renowned in softball and slo-pitch circles and with a renovated road leadsing to it, itâ€™s even more popular. The showcase diamond, No. 9, runs 500 games a year â€” thanks to its lights. Stoffer said it takes some effort to keep the diamonds in shape but busy is better.
â€œWe donâ€™t need to do these big national events but except that the ballplayers want them and so you try to make that happen,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s too hard on the park to do this too often.
â€œWe try to host at least one a year and theyâ€™ve been asking us to host this one for awhile but the dates worked for us.â€
Â To augment the capabilities of Softball Valleyâ€™s concessions, plenty of the trendy food trucks poppiing up will line the parking lot. Stoffer said with the valley being a centralized spot, a host of food trucks will do brisk business.
In the meantime, Stoffer said the event needs volunteers.
â€œAny local groups or individuals who want to help can reach me. This is a very social event, I think everyone involved will have fun and it will bring a lot of economic impact to the city.â€
Volunteers can email email@example.com or by following the links at softballvalley.com