Posts Tagged ‘Ripken Experience’

The Ripken Experience Hits Home Run for Season One in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 24, 2017) – Marking its first anniversary in the Smoky Mountains, The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is batting a thousand with baseball fans and city officials alike.

Since opening its doors in March 2016, more than 800 youth baseball teams and 70 high school softball teams have taken the fields at The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge for competition in 30 tournaments. In total, more than 12,000 players and coaches have traveled to play ball on fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains, with an additional 600 teams expected to travel to the complex for competition this summer.

“Not only did thousands of players, coaches and their families enjoy The Ripken Experience, but they also took advantage of our family-friendly vacation destination, which resulted in visitor spending of $30 million in Pigeon Forge,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager.

The appeal of Pigeon Forge as a family vacation destination was a major reason the city built the $22.5 million complex and contracted with Ripken Baseball to operate it.

In its first year, participants traveled to Pigeon Forge from 25 states and Canada, hailing from as far away as Alaska, California, Massachusetts, and Texas. Other states represented are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“America’s favorite pastime, baseball, and Pigeon Forge are a perfect combination,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge has given many folks a reason to visit Pigeon Forge for the first time, and once they see all that we have to offer, they want to return year after year.”

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge youth complex is located on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design inspiration from current and former ballparks highlighting the professional player progression from the Minor to Major Leagues, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; Winston-Salem Ballpark in N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge hosts tournaments nine months out of the year and offers year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse. Tournaments are free to spectators, and parking is free at the complex.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and toll-free at 800-251-9100. To learn more Ripken Baseball and for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge tournament schedule, visit RipkenBaseball.com.

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Media Contacts:

Trish McGee for the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189 ext. 327

 

Katy Ford for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

katy@maroonpr.com

443-864-4246

 

Cal Ripken Jr. Joins with Pigeon Forge To Launch $22.5 Million Youth Baseball Complex

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (November 2014) – Construction is underway on the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge, a $22.5 million youth baseball complex, after Cal Ripken Jr. and Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear dug trenches with backhoes to launch the project.

Ripken, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, represented his company, Ripken Baseball, at the groundbreaking event.Ripken in backhoe_72

The city-owned complex has six fields and is designed as a tournament destination for elite youth baseball. Pigeon Forge has a 10-year contract with Ripken Baseball to market and manage the facility, which will host world-class youth baseball tournaments nine months of the year and offer year-round branded programming, including events.

Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engle Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Pigeon Forge is an excellent location for our new facility, and soon, this ground will be home to thousands of young ballplayers running, playing and competing. We all look forward to that day,” Ripken said.

Opening Day will be in spring 2016. The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will look out onto the Great Smoky Mountains and will feature a two-level clubhouse with more than 14,000 square feet, a 2,749-square-foot concession/restroom building with an adjacent pavilion, as well as the six lighted synthetic turf fields.

“Youth sports is an almost $9 billion industry in the U.S., and the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge will steer some of that business to us. For several years, we have hosted summertime softball tournaments at our city park and have seen the impact of sports. However, this investment by the city means we’re taking youth sports to a totally new level. Teaming up with Cal and Bill Ripken puts us on the map immediately,” said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear.Ripken_Wear_sign_72

The Pigeon Forge location is Ripken Baseball’s third Ripken Experience complex. The others are in Aberdeen, Md., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Ripken Experience Aberdeen powered by Under Armour is in the Ripkens’ hometown and is the site of the Cal Ripken World Series, which brings 10 teams of 12-year-old players from around the world to compete for a World Championship title each summer. The Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach features elite baseball and softball competition for 13- to 18-year-olds and is used as a spring training facility for college and high school teams.

Information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling toll-free to 800-251-9100.

About Ripken Baseball, Inc.

Ripken Baseball, Inc. is a sports entertainment company based in Baltimore, Md., that represents the business interests of Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken. Established in 2001, the mission of Ripken Baseball is to inspire athletes through remarkable experiences. Ripken Baseball currently owns and operates multiple Minor League Baseball teams and plays host to numerous youth tournaments, camps and clinics at the Ripken Experience baseball complexes in Maryland and South Carolina.

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 Contacts:

Tom Adkinson, APR (for Pigeon Forge)

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Katy Ford (for Ripken Baseball)

Maroon PR

Katy@MaroonPR.com

443-695-8099