JOLIET – The Joliet Slammers announced Wednesday that they will host three youth baseball tournaments in the summer, the most yet as the team takes advantage of new artificial turf.
Each tournament will be a weekend-long, bringing in visitors to the city and potentially business for local hotels and restaurants as teams travel to play in the competitions.
“We’re currently promoting this in six different states,” said Slammers General Manger Heather Mills.
The Slammers have been incrementally adding teen tournaments as the team tries to draw more events to Joliet Route 66 Stadium, the city-owned stadium managed by the Slammers.
The team brought in one teen tournament in 2016 and two last year.
Mills said the addition of artificial turf does make it possible to bring in more tournaments, since the team does not have to worry about the wear and tear the a weekend’s worth long games can have on a grass field.
“It’s absolutely the turf,” Mills said. “It’s three full days. We can’t play with the heat of summer on grass every weekend.”
Two of the tournaments will be played on consecutive weekends in August. All three will be while the Slammers are on road trips.
The city is spending $1.6 million on artificial turf and stadium redesign both to bring in more events and to accommodate more sports in addition to baseball.
The tournaments announced Wednesday include:
• a 15U (ages 15 and under) tournament July 6 to 8;
• a 16U tournament Aug. 3 to 5;
• a 15U tournament Aug. 10 to 12.
Admission is $900 a team if a $250 deposit is made by Jan. 31. Cost is $1,000 a team if deposits are made later. Final payments are due May 1. Admission includes complimentary tickets for certain Slammers home games played before or after the tournaments.
The Slammers have asked interested teams to contact Lauren Rhodes at 815-651-2041.
Registration forms can be found at www.jolietslammers.com.