Alabama News Network first broke the news that the Tampa Bay Rays would be playing against the Montgomery Biscuits in an exhibition game next spring. It seems as if Montgomery has landed a few major sporting events, but how are they doing it and what could be next?
Ken Blankenship is the Executive Director of the Central Alabama Sports Commission, a group responsible for bringing sporting events to Montgomery. He says recently, the city has attracted several big events.
"We're beginning to get payback for all that work and investment we've made in the city and facilities," he says.
The recently renovated Cramton Bowl will play host to the college football Camellia Bowl, beginning in 2014. Riverwalk Stadium currently hosts the Capital City Classic, a baseball matchup between Auburn and Alabama. Now, the Tampa Bay Rays are headed to Montgomery to play the Biscuits in an exhibition game, something many residents tell us they're excited to see.
"I think it's really great to have a professional team come up here and see what these guys can do here in Montgomery," says Lane Price.
But it's not just football and baseball being played in Montgomery. Blankenship says the Emory Folmar YMCA Complex holds numerous soccer championships.
"We have the Governor's Cup Youth Soccer Tournament, one hundred teams," he explains. "We have the Southern State Athletic Conference here. Then in the last week of November we'll have the NAIA National Championship here."
So, why are sporting events coming to Montgomery? Sports Analyst John Longshore weighs in...
"We're centrally located here in the state of Alabama," he says. "Great interstate access, air access as well, if need be and of course the revitalization of downtown Montgomery."
Blankenship tells us another announcement will be made in November regarding high school football but couldn't let us in on the details just yet. Stay with Alabama News Network for the latest.