Ozark takes economic hit with junior college tournament cancellation

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OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) -- Every year the Alabama Community College Conference hosts its region 22 baseball championship at Eagle Stadium in Ozark, but 2020 will be different.

Eagle Stadium in Ozark, Alabama

Like many events in the near future, this tournament has been canceled due to COVID-19.

The NJCAA made the call to cancel all spring sports for the remainder of the academic year.

This is a big blow for the city of Ozark and its businesses.

Around a million dollars, that’s what the ACCC baseball tournament typically brings to the city of Ozark each year.

"It means a lot to our motels,” Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting said. “It means a lot to our restaurants and therefore it means a lot to our city."

With public health concern at an all-time high amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this tournament had to be canceled.

"Up to this point it's absolutely been the best year for sales tax across-the-board, everything across-the-board has just been a fantastic year," Bunting continued.

There's no denying the city will lose some revenue from the cancellation, but they won't strike out entirely.

"We've got a contract for another two years but because of this they've extended it, so we've got it for three more years," Bunting added.

This isn't the only big name tournament Eagle Stadium was scheduled to host this year, but Mayor Bunting is optimistic it is the only one that will be canceled.

"We have a Dixie Youth World Series that's going to be done here it'll be late July - the last week of July - first week in August in that time-frame so that will take place."

Mayor Bunting also said this will affect more than just Ozark as some of the teams stay in Dothan throughout the week.

The tournament was originally slated for May 7th through the 12th.