For the 25th year in-a-row, Las Cruces is set to host the Annual New Mexico United States Specialty Sports Association (NMUSSSA) Slowpitch Softball Father’s Day Invitational, June 19 through 20 at the Harty Ballfield Complex, 1840 E Hadley Ave.
“We’re excited to welcome back tournaments to Las Cruces,” said Visit Las Cruces Sports Sales Manager Ed Carnathan. “In addition to being a key economic driver for tourism, sporting events like this have given us the opportunity to create lasting partnerships and friendships with the organizers and players and give the participants the chance to create fond memories of their time here in Las Cruces.”
The tournament will feature a total of 24 teams, 14 Men’s Class D and 10 Men’s Class E, which will compete during the two-day tournament for the chance to earn 1st-4th place awards in each division. Since about half of the teams will be traveling from other cities to participate, the tournament will produce an estimated 100 room nights for local hotels.
“We are glad it’s finally happening and will be following all CDC guidelines to ensure everyone can participate safely,” said NMUSSSA Area Director Mark Delanoy. “The City of Las Cruces has been cooperative, and Sonya Delgado with Parks and Recreation has been phenomenal to work with.”
Later this year, Las Cruces will also host two NMUSSSA state championship events: the Women’s State Championship in September and the Fall State Championship in November. In addition to the state championships, Las Cruces will also once again host the World Famous “Whole Enchilada Softball Invitational” October 1-3.
“It feels great to see everyone back on the playing fields and enjoying our beautiful facilities,”, said City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Delgado. “We’re thankful to the staff and the community for all of their support to get us to this point and we’re looking forward to seeing people enjoying their favorite pastimes out on the fields with their friends and family.”
In 2019, Las Cruces had more than 750,000 visitors who spent approximately $70 million in tourism-related expenses, according to data from the City of Las Cruces and the New Mexico Tourism Department. The data also found that, on average, each visitor spent a total of $195 per day on tourism-related expenses such as lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation and transportation.
Sponsors for the Father Day Invitational and USSSA Umpires Association include: Walmart, Hooters, Corner Deli, Papa Johns, Roberto’s Mexican Food, All Star Carpet Cleaning, and Hoop T Dudes.
The Harty Ballfield Complex is currently undergoing improvements as part of a $157,754.48 GO Bond project for improvements at Maag Park, Harty Ballfield Complex, Ron Galla T-Ball Field and Paz Park.
“The GO Bond projects are still in progress for the Hadley fields. However, we do have Maag and Harty open for play,” Delgado said. “Once everything is complete, all the fields will have new LED lighting, upgraded concessions, upgraded restrooms, and a few other minor amenities that we will continue to work on as play continues.”
In a special mail-in ballot election between July 24 and August 21, 2018 Las Cruces voters approved four GO Bond questions totaling $35.6 million. Approval of the GO Bond will enable the City to construct improvements to city parks, sports fields and other related facilities; to construct a new animal shelter and make related improvements; to construct a replacement fire station on Valley Drive; and to improve recreational walking, jogging and biking trails.