The Australian Major League Baseball (MLB) Invitational has concluded in Lismore with 68 of Australia’s most talented young baseballers training for a week at Albert Park under the eyes of national coaches and scouts.
The MLB Invitational sees the best 13 and 14-year-old players in the country play competitive games watched by local and international coaches on home soil, and is subsidised by MLB to maximise player attendance.
Lismore City Council Tourism and Events Manager Mitch Lowe was delighted the program was held in Lismore for the second year running.
“We have a strong working relationship with Baseball Australia and it’s great to be hosting the invitational at Albert Park in 2018 where we have seen significant improvements to facilities as a result of grant funding through state and federal governments,” he said.
“Investment in key infrastructure at Albert Park has allowed the city to not only host existing events and competitions, but also attract new business to the city.”
Acting City Centre Manager Andrew Walker said sporting events such as the MLB Invitational benefited local businesses in a variety of sectors.
“It’s great to have tournaments like these hosted in the city. Money is directly injected into key areas such as restaurants, cafes, accommodation, transport and laundry and there are also flow-on benefits to the entire retail sector. It’s a massive boost for Lismore business.
“Sport is a significant economic driver for Lismore, and baseball in particular is leading the way with a large number of events and tournaments at the Albert Park Baseball Complex.”
The 2018 Australian MLB Invitational saw 64 competitors from Australia and for the first time, four players from New Zealand.
The scouts attending the games were getting a first look at potential talent that could join the MLB ranks in four to five years’ time.
“The support of MLB for young players seeking further opportunities is a big asset for baseball in Australia,” Team Australia General Manager Glenn Williams said.
“It’s great to be able to offer young people opportunities like this and we were excited to get them all into camp and working throughout the week.”
The MLB Invitational ran from Sunday, 26 August 2018 to Friday, 31 August 2018.
Source: Lismore City Council