Oct 3, 2012 10:29 AM by Samantha Ptashkin
TUCSON- The second annual "Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta" returns to Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium this week and local businesses are hoping all the players and their fans will help them hit a home run at the cash register.
"When they came last year, we definitely felt it on the weekends," says Donald Jacob, owner of El Parador on Broadway.
Jacob is hoping to see those customers return this week.
The tournament features four Mexican teams from Sonora and Sinaloa, as well as the San Diego Padres Future Stars and the Los Angeles Dodgers Future Stars. "Guys get to come and enjoy the night after they play in the game and they can do a little salsa dancing," Jacob says.
Then there are all the fans the players attract from across Southern Arizona and Mexico. "They bring the dollars in their pockets and they spend it at local restaurants, attractions, shopping centers and then they leave," says Felipe Garcia of the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Garcia says just the teams alone have booked more than 1,000 hotel rooms this year. "Between breakfast, lunch and dinner, we'll be serving 11,000 meals to just the teams alone," Garcia says.
The crowd is a good catch for Tucson, especially after losing spring training. "Everybody across the board gets a little bit of a bump and it's good because this is a stagnant economy," Jacob says.
With better weather in the forecast this year, as well as more teams set to play, the Tucson Padres are hoping to beat the 14,000 tickets sold last year. So far they have sold about 8,000, but expect to sell most on game days.
The tournament runs Oct. 4 thru Oct. 7. To check out the schedule head to the Tucson Padres' website.