Wednesday, July 10, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Peach Jam, the basketball tournament that brings kids from across the country to the river region, is here.
It has the second biggest economic impact for us behind the Masters. It's not uncommon to see some famous players coming to watch.
Bronny James, you may recognize the name, is Lebron James' son and was at the tournament and Russell Westbrook may be here tomorrow.
The gym is full and it's those fans that are having a larger impact on the area's economy. Basketball teams from all over the country are packing these gyms. Michael Law came all the way from California.
“We brought two teams, 15’s and 17’s and we're looking forward to doing what we gotta do,” said Law.
For 10 years, Michael has been coming to Peach Jam, watching the city and Riverview Park grow.
“I know last year we came up and we didn't know they had the two new gyms that were put in last year," said Law.
The addition of two new gyms last year means more people are coming to watch players shoot some hoops at Riverview Park but it also means more people are heading out into North Augusta to enjoy it outside of the tournament.
About 10,000 people are in town for basketball and this summer there's even more for them to enjoy like restaurants and the new Crowne Plaza Hotel in Riverside Village.
“While this tournament has always had a huge impact on our area we actually did not benefit the most from it because we had the least amount of infrastructure now that we're catching up a little bit it's good to see us capitalizing on it as well," said Todd Glover, a North Augusta city administrator.
The owner of Southbound Smokehouse says the tournament was impacting them at lunch.
“The restaurant was full so it was like man this is great," said the owner.
Altogether, the Augusta Visitors Bureau says Peach Jam will bring in nearly $6 million, a number Michael is contributing to.
“Going places, doing everything Augusta's got to offer," said Law.
Today only you can buy a pass for the whole tournament that runs until Sunday for $60 but after that, it will cost $15 a day each day. Kids under the age of 6 get in free.
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