Dixie Youth Series Expected to Boost Midlands Economy

Town of Lexington, SC (WLTX) – Friday's bad weather ended the opening ceremonies of the Dixie Youth World Series in Columbia.

Organizers are hoping it won't affect the games, which begin in the Town of Lexington Saturday.

With 36 teams from all over the south, the players, coaches and fans that come along with them are expected to bring a lot of money to the Midlands.

"We want to see some of the surrounding areas, see what's going on in some different places," said Ken McDaniel, in town from Mississippi.

When it the series opens, it's expected to bring an influx of cash to the Midlands economy.

"It's a huge boost for those people in Lexington and Lexington County who have been struggling a long time (and) have hung in there," said Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall.

The series will last a week in total at the Lexington Sports Complex. With an accelerated maintenance schedule, the complex's six baseball fields will be ready for play, even as the finishing touches were being added Friday afternoon.

But it's the 8,000 - 10,000 thousand people the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce expects to be hitting the area that will be responsible for the shot of economic muscle.

"It was based on the fine facilities they have here and the tremendous support they have from their local league, and they had hosted in 2010," said Dixie Youth League Commissioner Wes Skelton.

The last time series was played in Lexington in 2010 it was much smaller and 16 teams brought about $1.6 million to the Midlands. Four years later, 36 teams from 11 states are expected to bring about $2.5 million to area businesses, according to the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce.

A Dixie Youth app created by organizers shows fans the best places to eat and find entertainment in the Midlands, and had about 1000 downloads as of Friday evening, according to a series media representative.

"I've been to every state in the nation, except this one, I think," McDaniels said. "Everybody's nice (and) the atmosphere is really great."


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