Peach State Sports Blog

Shirley: Macon perfect spot for GHSA championships

Earlier this month, Mercer’s Five Star Stadium played host to each of the GHSA’s 12 soccer championships -- six boys and six girls.

That means 24 soccer teams and their coaches and fans were on the Mercer campus and in Macon. And that’s a good thing.

While most of those teams and fans made it a day trip to our city for the games -- meaning there weren’t many hotel rooms reserved -- they were still spending money in our city. Again, that’s a good thing.

These are the kinds of events that bring money to our city and the surrounding area, but there could be more of these events.

The GHSA is looking for centralized locations for its championships, and Macon already offers one for basketball, wrestling and now soccer. Why stop there? There’s no reason we couldn’t add baseball to the list.

Granted, there’s not a facility currently that could be used for such an event. But there could be ... and there needs to be. There has been talk of building a minor league park in Macon if we can attract a team to our city. There are a couple of spots being mentioned, and those talks are still in the very early stages.

Hopefully, we can get a team and the new stadium that would come with it. That would be a big positive for more reasons than just summer nights filled with minor league baseball -- although that certainly would be a good enough reason on its own to build a stadium and get a team.

A downtown stadium would be the perfect spot for the GHSA to host its seven baseball championships and bring more teams and more fans to our city. And that would mean more money.

But we wouldn’t have to stop there. Mercer headed to Charleston, South Carolina, this week for its debut in the Southern Conference baseball tournament. The winner of that tournament, which features nine teams from all over the Southeast, heads to the NCAA tournament.

Think about what it would mean to the city -- and the Mercer program -- to hold that tournament right here in Macon. Add that to the GHSA championships, and we could have a couple of weeks of baseball -- teams, fans and money -- showcased in our city.

Maybe our leaders can figure that out and make it happen because that would be a good thing for everyone involved.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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