February 2014

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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32 SportsTurf | February 2014 Among baseball enthusiasts it is no secret that Myrtle Beach is home to The Ripken Experience, a top-notch baseball facil- ity with numerous synthetic fields. For years The Ripken Ex- perience has attracted a large number of tourists in the travel baseball market and the facility continues to expand and im- prove. Another large scale investment has been undertaken by the city of Myrtle Beach. In recent years the city has added an impressive array of both natural and synthetic fields, high- lighted by the outstanding baseball and multi-use facility at the Market Common, a high-end shopping and dining venue development. But perhaps the most aggressive expansion into GRAND STRAND EXPANDS SPORTS TOURISM MARKET Facility & Operations | By Ashley Wilkinson F or years vacationers have flocked to the Myr- tle Beach area for family fun on the beach and on the golf course. Now, the Grand Strand has found a new market to attract visitors: sports tourism. While the Myrtle Beach area has seen the golf market level off, the sports tourism market has grown and city managers and business developers up and down the coast have taken notice. A marked expansion of athletic complexes along the 60+ miles of the Grand Strand has taken place over the past several years. North Myrtle Beach Park and Sport Complex. Photo courtesy of Ashley Wilkinson. In April 2014, the city of North Myrtle Beach will open a new 162-acre sports field park to attract an even larger segment of the sports tourism market. The North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex will include eight regulation size soccer fields that have been constructed for multiple field configurations. Four softball fields and two baseball fields are included in the site which is all planted in Tifway 419 bermudagrass. Map Image ©

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