Prospect Meadows baseball complex draws thousands to Marion for tournament

The complex expects to have a $5 million economic impact this month alone, with more than 5,000 hotels rooms booked as a result.
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Prospect Meadows in Marion is wrapping up its largest tournament ever, which brought 86 teams from 13 different states over the weekend.

“This is what we do for our kids right, everybody knows that,” Larry O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe said he drove almost 9 hours from Michigan to watch his son play. Others came from states like Arkansas, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Kari Dobratz, of Wisconsin, said.

Those coming from out of town stayed in area hotels, providing a big economic benefit to hotels in the Cedar Rapids metro and beyond.

“I know this weekend it’s been tough to get a hotel room. A lot of people are staying in Coralville and Iowa City in addition to Cedar Rapids and Marion,” Jack Roeder, the president and CEO of the sports complex, said.

The complex is expecting to have a $5 million economic impact in the month of July alone, with over 5,000 hotel rooms booked area-wide. People coming in from out of town also have to have somewhere to eat, so they’re supporting area restaurants.

“We try to go out and eat as a team at least once, it just, lets the boys have some fun on our downtime,” Dobratz said.

Some visitors enjoyed local events while in town as well.

“Went to the Kernels game which was great. You know, baseball, baseball, baseball,” O’Keefe said.

Prospect Meadows continues to bring foot traffic, far outside the fences of the ballpark, and many of them will be back.

“We’ve been here once this year, once last year, we have one more yet this summer,” Dobratz said.

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