ENTERPRISE, AL. (WTVY) - Strike one, strike two...three strikes- it's time for some baseball.
Billy Powell, Director of Enterprise Parks & Recreation, says "Teams will be arriving in today. We're going to be doing open ceremonies tonight announce all the teams...and then we'll have a pre-tournament competition."
Activities like a home-run derby, base technique games like "around the horn” and a 60-yard dash will be taking place tonight…all leading up to the games which will begin on Saturday to kick off the 2018 Dixie State Baseball Tournament.
"Today is going to be a little fun day for them and tomorrow will be game day and that's when the seriousness will kick in," says Powell.
The preparations have been going on for some time now to make sure the city is ready for the first pitch.
"It takes months to prepare to host this tournament and you know, today is we're putting the final touches on everything that needs to be done," says Powell.
Powell says Enterprise Parks and Recreation is excited to be hosting the Dixie tournament this year.
"We're going to have a total of sixteen teams, eight teams for each division...all coming to Enterprise and of course, Enterprise will have a team in each and their apart of the sixteen as well,” says Powell.
Both divisions are playing for the title of being state champions. From there, the state champions will then play to advance to the World Series.
For the City of Enterprise, sports tourism events such as the Dixie State Baseball Tournament are a vital part of the economy.
Tammy Doerer, Director of Tourism for the City of Enterprise says "Sports and the economy really do go hand-in-hand now. I mean, really when you look at it we look at sports as strengthen the athletes, but it also strengthens communities and we are certainly gong to benefit from all these teams."
In the last two weeks, the City of Enterprise has hosted over 600 athletes and their families.
"They will stay in our hotels, they will buy gas here, and they will go to our restaurants...shop in our stores. Our community is excited about it and completely behind it," says Doerer.
Tammy says events like this would not be possible without community sponsorship.
"We need sponsorship in order to facilitate and to bring in groups like this. We're really thankful for the groups that continuously support our Enterprise Parks & Recreation department and all the events that they have,” says Doerer.
She also encourages everyone that will be at the tournament to explore Johnny Henderson Park and the City of Enterprise.
"These players come with families and our beautiful park here as facilities for their dogs to walk. We have a splash park thanks to our rotary club. We have playgrounds also thanks to all of our community partners so they really can take a little break from playing ball," replied Doerer.
The City of Enterprise hopes that players and their families will see enterprise as a family-friendly destination.
If you are interested in attending the Dixie tournament, tickets are five dollars and can be purchased at the gate.
The games will begin Saturday and end on Tuesday.