News 12 NBC 26 @ 6:00 / Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A few months ago the mayor and commissioners started hashtag SOGO to get more attention on South Augusta. This weekend thousands will be staying in South Augusta for the USSSA Military World Softball Tournament.
It's the second time the tournament has been here and more teams are here. 138 teams from around the world joining in for a big competition and an even bigger reunion.
Starting tomorrow thousands of military softball players will be leaving their bases to run the bases around Diamond Lakes.
"Absolutely we have a team coming in from Germany and England, as far away as Hawaii," USSSA Policies and Procedures Director Jeff Brown said.
It's the second year USSSA chose to fill these bleachers for the Military World Softball Tournament
"To choose Augusta again was so easy because, again, the support we get here," USSSA Tournament Director Dustin Roberts said.
A big sell for the tournament is Diamond Lakes. There are a large number of fields for all of the games to be played.
"With dealing with people's deployments and military personnel, we really have to have as many fields as possible so we can get them in and out as quickly as possible," Roberts said.
More than 130 teams, each with at least 15 people, plus their families means thousands are in South Augusta all weekend.
"Here it's just a family atmosphere, I can take someone playing from a different team and say hey watch my kids," Assistant National Director for USSSA Softball Isaiah Rivers said.
They're filling at least six hotels and city leaders expect more than a three million dollar boost. USSSA has a lot to coordinate between all of the rosters, teams, and details, but they say choosing Augusta is a home run.
"The way they treated us last year, they were definitely first on our list when we looked at places for this year," Brown said.
The only surprise last year was the Augusta heat, but these soldiers are used to playing in all conditions.
"We wished for a little bit of better weather and this year it rained so sometimes you should just be happy with what you get," Regional Director for USSSA Military Softball Marcus Pricher said.
Rain or shine, they say, it looks like Augusta is home base for this tournament.
"We'll be back as long as they'll have us," Roberts said.
Now remember these teams are coming here from all over the world so a little bit of rain won't stop anything. You can come down here to Diamond Lakes and watch them play all weekend long.
The games will be from Augusta 10th through the 13th at Diamond Lakes and Fort Gordon. Tickets to watch the games are either five dollars at the gate or 15 dollars for the tournament.