The 2020 Cal Ripken Rookie World Series is coming to Marion County.
The hosting of the tournament, which will be held Aug. 2-9, was announced Saturday by the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Babe Ruth League Inc. and the Marion County Board of County Commissioners. It will be held at the Rotary Sportsplex of Marion County in Ocala and is expected to bring in 15 to 20 teams along with coaches, parents and families from across the United States.
Bring the tournament to Marion County was a collaborative effort between the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department, the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Rotary Sportsplex board of directors. Together, those groups work together to foster economic growth in the community.
The tournament looks to be an economic boon for the area, as a similar event in 2016, the Cal Ripken 12U World Series, brought a total of $1.2 million in estimated economic impact to the county. Officials believe the upcoming tournament will also bring similar benefits, as well as the opportunity to expose many of the participants and their families to the area, which could then inspire potential return trips for vacations.
This will be the fifth World Series hosted at the Rotary Sportsplex, which recently received nearly $400,000 in upgrades and renovations, including bleachers and shade structures to improve the fan experience. The venue will continue on-field enhancements leading up to the tournament.
Previous tournaments hosted at the Sportsplex include the 2009 Cal Ripken 10U World Series, the 2013 Cal Ripken 9U World Series, the 2014 Babe Ruth 14U World Series and the 2016 Cal Ripken 12U World Series.