This ‘World Series’ sporting event is coming to Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH – This city will host the 2020 Amateur Sports Alliance of North America Softball World Series, one of the largest annual female sporting events in the world.

The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau made the announcement Monday.

ASANA was created in 2007 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the participation of LGBTQIA+ Women in amateur athletics.

The CVB Sports Marketing team bid on the tournament in partnership with the Norfolk United Women’s Softball Association who will serve as the host organization, according to the city.

The five-day tournament attracts more than 1,500 athletes, coaches and spectators and nearly 100 teams from cities across North America travel to compete and celebrate equality.

The event will run Sept. 16-20, 2020.

“This is a huge win for Virginia Beach on several fronts,” said Brad Van Dommelen, director of the CVB. “Obviously from a business standpoint, this tournament will further the already tremendous economic impact tourism makes on our city. From a community perspective, this underscores our commitment to inclusion and diversity and reinforces the fact that Virginia Beach is open and welcoming to all.”

Tourism is one of the major economic drivers for Virginia Beach. In 2018, tourism related expenditures topped $2.45 billion and visitation reached 19 million, according to a news release from the city.

The sports industry has grown tremendously as a niche tourism market, especially for families who look to add on dates to their sports event trips to plan “sportcations” where sports and leisure vacations become one. Estimated direct spending for amateur sporting events reached $11.4 billion in 2017.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.