Fans once again packed the stands at Cadwell Park during the Class B state amateur baseball tournament.
After a one-year stop at Augustana University’s Ronken Field, the tournament made it back to Cadwell Park this year. A popular destination for the 12-day and 32-team tournament, Cadwell Park generated $51,849 in paid admission, according to South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association Secretary/Treasurer Herb Sundall.
“Overall we are pleased with the attendance,” Sundall said. “The weather was absolutely beautiful, except two sessions we had rain problems. But when you are going for 12 days, you have to expect that. I think overall the weather was the best we’ve had in a long time.”
When Augie hosted the tournament in 2018, it pays the SDABA a guaranteed payment from the gate revenue, regardless of how well the tournament draws. In Mitchell, the SDABA pockets the gate receipts and it pays all the expenses of the tournament. The Mitchell Baseball Association receives part of the concession stands and the money generated from the programs. The Exchange Club of Mitchell also runs the state amateur baseball concession stands and it uses the event as a fundraiser.
Last year at Augie, paid admission was $50,411. In 2017, Cadwell Park brought in $54,126. The park generated $63,395 in 2016, while it brought in a record $65,585 in 2015.
“We are satisfied with that,” Sundall added about this year’s figures. “Anytime we get over $50,000, we are happy. It’s of course short of our all-time record. But you can’t get a record every year.”
Sundall said the championship session ($5,399) was the best turnout. Nearby Alexandria knocked off Garretson, 2-0, in the championship game. The stars aligned almost perfectly this season for SDABA. Local teams -- Alexandria, Canova, Winner/Colome -- all made the semifinals.
“If there are teams close to the Mitchell area that advance in the tournament, we always do better,” Sundall said.
Saturday afternoon’s semifinal game between Alexandria and Winner/Colome brought in $4,362. Canova’s semifinal game against Garretson was delayed due to weather and it didn’t finish until 1:06 a.m. But the Gang still had a host of fans.
“I personally was surprised at the number of people that were there until 1:30 to watch them play,” Sundall said. “I always marvel at the drawing Canova has.”
The 2020 Class B state amateur baseball tournament will be at Cadwell Park on Aug. 5-16.
“We are always happy to be in Mitchell,” Sundall said. “I always say going to Mitchell is like wearing an old shoe -- it’s comfortable for everybody.”