Looking ahead to a day when players and spectators can gather for an athletic event, the Henderson County Girls Softball Association is going after a state tournament for the summer.
On Monday, the Athens City Council approved a Resolution authorizing City Manager Elizabeth Borstad to enter into an agreement with the for Fiscal Year 2020 Tourism Development Grant to help make that happen.
The Tourism and Cultural Resources Department received an application for the Fiscal Year 2020 Tourism Development Grant from the Softball Association for funds.
Director Katie Birk said the bid is for a 6 years old and under state tournament. The estimated cost of the event is $9,925. The grant calls for the city to provide matching funds for up to 75% of actual, eligible costs. HCGSA would be eligible to receive up to $7,443.75. The tournament will bring approximately 1,000 visitors Athens and book about 120 rooms.
Katie Birk said the Athens Teenage Baseball Association was awarded money to bid on a state tournament in October but was not awarded the event so they had to forfeit their Tourism Development Grant putting $11,250.00 back into the Aid to Other Organizations Hotel Occupancy fund. Teen baseball has brought numerous tournaments to the city in recent years.
"Katie and I talked about this about whether or not it would be better to save the tourism dollars, but then, this promotes tourism," Borstad said.
The Tourism Development Grant was developed to provide support to organizations, events, and facilities that support tourism in the City of Athens. On October 28, 2019, Tourism Development
Grants were allocated to five organizations in the following amounts:
• Athens ISD Athletic Department: $2,500.00
• Athens Teenage Baseball Association: $11,250.00
• Henderson County Regional Fair Park: $19,469.00
• Watson Productions: $4,500.00
• East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society: $2,250.00