Rockmart citizens better make room because the Rockmart High School baseball team is once again hosting for the Per-fect Game baseball tournament starting this Friday.
From June 30 to July 19, the tournament being hosted by Lakepoint in Cartersville is using Rockmart High School as a spillover site, and is deemed a "Mega Tournament," expected to bring in 3500-5000 people from all over the country including California, Miami, New York and more.
Rockmart High School baseball's head coach Kenny Yanzetich said the tournament is now one of the major fund-raisers for the team, and brought in more than $11,000 for the year.
"Last year we had 68 games on our field over six days a week, and we'll have just as many this year over the next three weeks," said Yanzetich.
At the tournament comes scouts, thousands of spectators, and 136 teams will want to eat, shop, and explore in Rockmart while they spend time here. With such a golden opportunity for businesses to drive profits, the Rockmart Business Alliance is stepping forward to sponsor local businesses, display advertisements, and to give back to the community at no cost.
"This helps local economy a little bit, because folks are running out to Walmart to buy supplies, or go to local places to eat," he said. "I can't tell you the number of people that we usually have come in and ask after a game what's a good restaurant, and myself and others here at the school usually send them somewhere local."
This year, the RBA will supply a table where individuals and their business can place flyers, maps, coupons, and more to help advertise to the droves of people who are sure to be visiting Rockmart.
Rockmart players will also be participating in this year's tournament, and Yanzetich said he would be announcing more information soon about when they are expected to play. Games are time limited and instead of using metal bats as they do in high school play, this tournament uses only wooden bats.
Yanzetich said that in some ways it helps the games go fast-er.
Also helping to the speed of the game is fast pitching. Yanzetich said last year there were pitchers with a variety of speed, with high school players getting up into the 90-plus miles per hour range in their throws across the plate.
"It's incredible the amount of young talent that we'll have here over the next few weeks," he said.
The first round of the tournament - featuring players on teams of hopeful future stars 17-and-under, continues through the weekend and until Wednesday, including games in July 4.
Following that, 16-and-under players will continue the same Friday through Wednesday schedule, with the last round of games coming on the following week for 15-and-under youth players.
Individuals who advertise their business during the Perfect Game tournament can help boost their own business while helping the overall economy of Rockmart.
Those interested in the advertising can drop off adverts at Allstate Insurance at 464 Nathan Dean Bypass # 4, Rockmart, GA 30153 to Bree Brown. All marketing materials must be delivered by this Friday morning.
Editor Kevin Myrick and Correspondent Sean Williams contributed to this report.