Rocky Mount, N.C. – The USA South Athletic Conference has announced a partnership with the city of Rocky Mount, North Carolina to host the 2013 and 2014 USA South Spring Sports Festivals. The festival features the tournaments of all six Conference spring sports. The upcoming 2012 spring tournaments will be hosted by the city of Burlington, North Carolina. Burlington has played host to the USA South Spring Sports Festival for the past six years.
“I am delighted that the USA South has elected to bring their spring athletic championships to Rocky Mount in 2013,” said Rocky Mount Mayor David W. Combs. “Rocky Mount has been fortunate to host a number of conferences, tournaments, and other events for large groups in recent years, and we have proven ourselves to the state and to the region to be a hospitable community with ample resources to accommodate their needs.”
“On behalf of the Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department, I would like to say that am very excited at the opportunity for the City of Rocky Mount to host the USA South Spring Championships in 2013,” shared Dale Smith, Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Director. “The Parks and Recreation department prides itself on outstanding staff and facilities. We look forward to providing the highest level of service to the Conference and its athletes.”
Rocky Mount’s city limits fall within Edgecombe and Nash Counties. The city, named an All-America City in 1970 and 1999, is located halfway between New York and Florida directly on I-95 and US 64. Rocky Mount has played host to numerous collegiate events as well as regional and national recreation tournaments. The city is also home to USA South member North Carolina Wesleyan College.
“We look forward to partnering with Rocky Mount as we plan for future USA South Sports Festivals,” stated Rita Wiggs, USA South Commissioner. “This is a huge event for our student-athletes and coaches and our continued challenge will be to make it a valued event in the student-athlete experience. The bar has been set high in the past six years and the Rocky Mount contingency has committed its personnel, venues and community support to ensuring that the student-athletes of the USA South will have a superior tournament experience in the years to come.”
The baseball tournament will be the only competition not played within the city limits of Rocky Mount. The tournament will split time between Fleming Stadium in Wilson, North Carolina and Five County Stadium, home of the current minor league (Double-A) affiliate Carolina Mudcats, in Zebulon, North Carolina. The number of games played at each stadium has yet to be determined.
The softball tournament will be held at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. This facility contains four softball fields with two 2,000 square foot concession areas with restrooms. This facility has hosted numerous national recreation softball tournaments.
The women’s lacrosse tournament will be held at City Stadium which is within the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. The stadium is located adjacent from the softball fields and has a 5,000-seat capacity. The venue has hosted Elizabeth City State’s “Down East Viking Football Classic” for the past 13 years.
The men’s golf tournament will take place at Benvenue County Club in Rocky Mount. The 6,635-yard course is designed by Donald Ross and has a course rating of 72.0 with a slope rating of 120. The facility also contains full locker rooms for each team.
The men’s and women’s tennis facility will be in its first year of existence once tournament play begins. Construction on the facility, which will be on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan, has begun and it will feature 12 lighted hard surface courts with ample spectator seating, locker rooms and restrooms.
N.C. Wesleyan President Jim Gray initiated thoughts of this partnership over a year ago and is ecstatic that the hard work of so many dedicated individuals has paid off.
“I am thrilled for Rocky Mount and awed by the hard work and dedication of our team that worked for a year to get this,” he said. “From the mayor and city manager to Parks and Recreation Director Dale Smith to Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees to the tourism bureau… they believed in the dream and made it come true.”
Gray added that the Visitors Bureau studied the probable impact of the four-day event and pegged it at $1.8 million for the first year and $1.3 each subsequent year. The combination of tournament will bring over 800 athletes and many of their families to the area.
Specific details and game schedules of each tournament have yet to be finalized. Once official schedules have been determined, they will be available on the USA South website. Finally, it is the USA South’s goal to continue providing live statistics and video of tournament contests when available.
For more information on the USA South Athletic Conference, visit www.usasouth.net.