The city of Troy found out last year that they would be hosting the Ozone World Series for a third time. Since then, they've been hard at work, converting two softball fields just to keep up with the volume of games at the event. Now, Troy's mayor says the city is more than ready.
"We've prepared everything we can out here. We're rolling out the red carpet," said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.
All through the city, businesses greeted the extra customer traffic with open arms. City officials hope visitors will remember the gesture when it's time for them to spend some extra cash.
"Every hotel room has been booked for a number of weeks. They'll be eating at our restaurants, they'll be shopping at our stores, merchants, and businesses. It's great. This is their family vacation," said Dan Smith, director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Troy.
Local merchants prepared well in advance for the hundreds of players and family members making the trek to Troy, even hosting Christmas in July sales for customers. Mayor Lunsford tells WSFA 12 News that the sales are all part of making visitors feel at home.
"The merchants are having a lot of specials to hopefully encourage all the people to come in and spend a little money with us and have a good time--and give them something to do when they're not playing baseball," Lunsford said.
Some visiting families say the sales will help pass the time.
"That's what we've got all day tomorrow to do. The first game's not until 8 or 8:30, so we'll be shopping," explained Donnie Day of Richfield, North Carolina.
So, with many teams ready to play their hearts out, the city says they've already emerged victorious.
"We didn't just want this to be another tournament. We wanted this to be first class and we want them to leave with a wonderful memory," Smith said.
A home run derby and a kickoff event Friday night marked the start of the week-long series, which ends Thursday with the Championship game.
Mayor Lunsford says the extra business should bring in an extra $1,500,000 to Troy.