TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – The NCAA Tucson Regional is underway at Hi Corbett Field, attracting overseas fans.
The heat doesn’t stop fans from showing up to fight for their favorite team while it also boosts Tucson’s economy.
Toby Angell came from Oklahoma, where he says there is little sun and rain.
“It’s going to get hot. We’re not used to it. We only had rain in Oklahoma for the last month. So we’re not used to hot temperatures yet, but what the heck,” he told KGUN9.
That doesn’t stop him from cheering on his Oklahoma cowboys, however.
“We came for the baseball tournament. We’re big OSU baseball fans and we’ve never been to Tucson, so we thought, ‘Hey … let’s go,’ ”he added.
Visit Tucson’s Dan Gibson says a tournament like this is what it takes for the Tucson economy to return to normal.
“It’s not just staying in a hotel room, which of course generates taxes and revenue, but also that people inevitably eat in local restaurants. And then they go shopping … and hopefully catch an attraction or two, ”Gibson said.
He says tourism is attracting billions to Tucson.
“There was $ 2.6 billion in direct travel spending in 2019,” he told KGUN9.
Gibson says COVID-19 made a dent in tourism dollars last calendar year, but he’s optimistic that tourism will return if more restrictions are lifted.
As it stands, Hi Corbett Field is now open to 100% capacity.
At least 1,700 all-session passes have been sold to date. This does not apply to single or walk-up tickets that have already been purchased.
Stephen Leek has been the owner of the Wildcat season since 2013 and says it’s good to see people cheer the Wildcats in person.
“The game days are going to be tough, I think, but it’s dry heat, not moisture. So come out and enjoy it. And night games won’t be a problem, ”said Leek.
“It’s a lot more fun when there’s a bigger crowd, yeah, sure,” added Angells.
Four teams compete against each other in this region.
If UArizona wins the Regionalliga, they will host the Superregional again at home next weekend.