On the eve of the 2007 World Cup, which runs Thursday to Monday at the Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, Team USA enters the competition as the team to beat.
More than 26,000 fans attended the 2006 World Cup, which helped bring an estimated $1.2 million into the Oklahoma City economy. ESPN televised the event in more than 20 countries and those numbers are expected to grow in 2007.
Adding a bit of intrigue will be the first edition of the American Challenge Series, which is set to feature four of the top men's teams in the world.
"With ticket sales up and the addition of the American Challenge Series, this is shaping up to be the biggest World Cup so far," said Brian McCall, communications director for the Amateur Softball Association.
Event officials feel attendance totals could go over the 35,000 mark if the weather cooperates and all goes as planned.
"This is already one of the premier events in the world of amateur softball, but it has a chance to really go off the charts this week," said Ron Radigonda, executive director for the ASA. "This is the home of softball in the United States and to bring the world to Oklahoma City each year (other than Olympic years) is something we are proud of."
Tickets are still available for both events. Call 1-800-654-8337 for more information.
"Jay C. Upchurch