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U.S. Baseball in Ozark is hosting the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Baseball Championships 2021-25.
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U.S. Baseball in Ozark is hosting the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Baseball Championships 2021-25.

U.S. Baseball to host state championships

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Coming off a record season last year, U.S. Baseball League LLC was chosen to host the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Baseball Championships.

The Ozark stadium is slated to serve as the MSHSAA’s championship venue 2021-25. U.S. Baseball General Manager Mark Stratton said the attendance goal for the championships is 10,000 people, ahead of the average of 8,349 during the past five years. The championships are currently held at CarShield Field in O’Fallon.

Stratton said the championships would be an economic boon for the area, which last hosted the MSHSAA’s top baseball tournament 2007-12 at Meador Park in Springfield.

“It’s an added value to be in our region,” he said. “I think there will be some residual activities there.”

The U.S. Baseball park, which has more than 4,000 seats, beat roughly five other bidders and two other finalists, Stratton said. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“It looks like you’re having to file an audit report with the IRS,” he said of the thorough application process. “You put your best foot forward.”

During the 2017-18 championships last spring, 80 teams in five classes competed, according to MSHSAA.org. Stratton said a sixth class of teams may compete by 2021.

U.S. Baseball, which renovated the long-vacant Price Cutter Park baseball stadium to launch in mid-2016, last year exceeded 100,000 people in attendance, Stratton said, noting the park booked 190 events. That’s up from 75,000 people and 120 dates in 2017, and Stratton said U.S. Baseball already has 243 dates booked for 2019 with projected attendance of up to 115,000 people. Events start this month for the 2019 season.

“We’re anticipating the trend will continue,” he said.

U.S. Baseball has hosted the Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run Competition, Drury University Panthers home games and tournaments by CoxHealth, the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association, Premier Baseball and others, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

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