NCAA Regional Tournament expected to bring in 25,000 people, $5M to Hub City

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - It’s been the talk of the town since Monday night when the University of Southern Mississippi found out it’s hosting an NCAA Regional Tournament, and not only will there be several big games... there will also be a big economic impact.

Hattiesburg, the Hub City, HBurg... whatever you call the home of the USM Golden Eagles, be sure and make room for one more name.

“Baseburg, of course, is a word that we’re liking to use right now and it’s certainly alive and well in Hattiesburg,” said Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHattiesburg.

While it’s quiet now, soon, LSU, Army and Kennesaw State fans, along with, of course, USM fans, will fill Hattiesburg and Pete Taylor Park.

“We’re going to have an influx of people,” said Dorsey. “We anticipate about 25,000 people being in town over the course of the weekend for all of the different ballgames... we’re looking at about a $5-million economic impact right here in the Hub City from baseball.”

That’s coming off of last weekend when the city saw another roughly 25,000 people and a $5-million economic impact from the Conference USA Tournament.

The large influx comes at a good time as Hub City’s tourism sector is still recovering from the pandemic.

“...The tourism industry was the hardest hit and for us to be able to see tourism is alive and well and to know that we’re welcoming thousands of fans here into the Hub City... they’ll be in our hotels, they’ll be in our restaurants and really going to our points of interest... we’re made for this, you know, so we’re really excited to be able to see one more step toward full recovery,” said Dorsey.

If you’re looking for something to do between games, VisitHattiesburg has several free activities listed around the Hub City on its website.

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