Baseball seeks permanent Series site

The search for a permanent American Legion Baseball World Series site is narrowing down as suitable cities are stepping up to the plate. The idea to have a permanent site was addressed more than 15 years ago, and it's now moving forward in full swing.

Each year before the World Series site is selected, the Legion faces a common challenge: transportation fees. As fuel prices continue to increase, so does The American Legion's transportation expenses for getting players to the World Series, as well as to national regionals.

"There have been many costs related to the expense of fuel, such as transportation of players, that the American Legion's budget has gone beyond what we can absorb anymore," American Legion National Baseball Subcommittee Chairman Larry Price said. "And the Legion is extremely generous for taking care of expenses for teams going to these national tournaments. Many youth baseball organizations do not provide any expenses for teams playing in a national regional tournament, whereas the Legion provides the motel room, meals, transportation, umpires, etc., as part of our service to the youth of this country."

To help offset the high expenses, a few changes have been made; others are in the process. For example, coaches registering their team for the baseball season now have a national administration fee, a first in 85 years. And moving forward, a permanent World Series site will eliminate unexpected transportation and hotel expenses, and allow the Legion to find creative ways to increase sponsorship and game attendance.

There are a few cities in the running to permanently host the Legion World Series site. Legion baseball staff have begun outweighing many costs associated with each bid, such as hotel prices and transportation fees to the city and baseball field. Bids are also being accepted for regional sites, which will be under a two-year contract, with possible extension upon assessment after the first year. Various regions have submitted bids, but there are a few areas where bids are needed.

"It's a lot of work preparing for the World Series and regionals, but the teams can earn income - especially if they get people in the stands, because fans are going to buy souvenirs and concession stand food," Price said. "(Being a host city) also brings in revenue to the community because of the sales tax from the hotels tax."

After Legion baseball staff weighs each World Series bid, an onsite inspection will be conducted before voting for a permanent site can begin. National Commander Clarence Hill has appointed a three-person committee to conduct the onsite inspections, which includes immediate Past National Commander Dave Rehbein. The committee will review location and cost of hotels, the city's host committee structure, government and community support, and conditions of the ball park.

"I'm excited to be serving on the committee," Rehbein said. "I'm extremely confident that The American Legion can find that single site to become the permanent home for the World Series and work out a wonderful partnership with the community."

Once onsite inspections are complete - a task to be accomplished by May - the voting process will get underway. A baseball committee comprised of eight National Americanism Commission members will be the first to cast their votes after they listen to each city's host committee present a speech on their reasoning for being the permanent site. After the baseball committee makes its bid, it will hand their bid recommendation to more than 25 National Americanism Commission members from across the country. The Legionnaires will vote and present their choice to the National Executive Committee, which will then make the final decision - one that will be announced this year by the end of NEC Spring Meetings.



  1. In light of the fact the ALWS requires hundreds teams to play a ridiculous contracted season (four weeks) which is forcing many of us out of legion leagues into other leagues and now we are forcing the surviving teams to pay a fee to support the thing, the real question is being missed. We shouldn't be asking if we should have a permanent site, we should be asking whether a national tournament is an idea which is past its time. The sacrifice of many does not justify the benefits for a few. "We've always had one" is not a good answer!
  2. I am GREATLY in favor of Shelby, NC hosting a pernament site for the World Series. This whole town turned upside down to make the 2008 tournament a fantastic success and they would do this every year. This is baseball country. I have never felt so welcomed to any event... ever! If it's money to be saved, then chose Shelby, food is great, air transportation is 30 minutes away...southern hospitality is there to stay.
  3. We like that Bartlesville, OK is centrally located and they did a great job in 2003 and 2007. Good luck as you make your decision!
  4. I vote No to a single permanent site. The site should rotate on a multi-year basis. Maximize your contracting for buses and hotels. A single site, will deny other facilities to be rewarded for their great programs, and great community support.
  5. Shelby, North Carolina did host a great ALWS in 2008. Having been to other ALWS, Everyone I came in contact with was extremly nice and helpful. The food was out of this world and very well priced. I don't know who else is bidding but, Great Job Shelby and I hope they become the new permanent site for ALWS.
  6. I think Shelby, North Carolina would be a great place for the American Legion World Series. They hosted the Regionals and World Series in 2008 and it was a great success. The folks in Shelby and the State of North Carolina put on a first class Tourney and spare no expense. Give the World Series a dose of Southern Hospility forever.
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