RUSTON, La. (7/23/19)– The big weekend is almost here. After months of planning, the Dixie World Series will be hosted in Ruston for the next two weeks. The tournament kicks off this weekend and thousands are expected to travel to Ruston.
“44 teams will be coming. This is 11 states from Virginia all the way down to Texas, including Arkansas and Tennessee,” said Ronny Walker, Mayor of Ruston.
There are five different age groups competing in the world series and Ruston is anticipating a massive influx of people.
“We have all the hotels in Ruston are almost 100 percent full, I know a lot in West Monroe, Monroe,” said Mayor Walker.
Walker says the city is expecting anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 visitors. Now, Ruston and its businesses are getting ready for the booming crowd.
“We’re preparing, we’re trying to get plenty of rest, and make sure we have plenty in stock,” Richard Coker, owner of Champs Sports Bar.
Coker, the owner of Champs Sports Bar in down town Ruston, says he and other merchants in the area consider the tournament a great opportunity for business during the slow months of summer.
“Economically, well–it’s a chance for us to get ahead during the summer and get ready for fall. Most of us have been waiting on this,” said Coker.
Coker, even taking the opportunity to offer discounts to players and coaches who come dressed in uniform. Mayor Walker says locals should expect some delays as the city works to accommodate its visitors.
“Be a little patient, and have a little grace during this time. In Ruston itself, it’ll be a little longer lines maybe at the restaurants traffic will be a little different,” said Mayor Walker.
Mayor Walker says there are over 150 volunteers helping to run the event. The games will kick off Saturday at the Ruston Sports Complex.