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BLD play up; paid attendance hits 355,000 in 2008
CVB BLD3-10-26-08
A youth baseball game at Manteca’s Big League Dreams sports complex. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Business is booming at Manteca’s Big League Dreams sports complex.

The management has just hired 11 new employees and plans to do another wave of hiring in the coming months after ending 2008 with a record 355,000 paying visitors who passed through the turnstiles.

The firm leasing and operating the six-field complex that also has two restaurants and an indoor soccer arena reported that in first quarter comparisons there are:

•257 adults softball teams this year as opposed to 168 in 2008.

•118 adult soccer teams compared to 124 in 2008.

•38 youth soccer teams compared to none in 2008.

•52 weeks booked solid of tournament play which is the same as last year.

Seventy-five percent of the play – weekday leagues and tournaments – consists of youth teams.

Of the out-of-town teams, at least 50 percent of the players and their families stay one night in Manteca area hotels.

There are now Manteca Youth Softball Association games taking place at BLD while the Manteca Heat is starting up a new competitive boys baseball league at the complex.

Manteca BLD has also landed its first youth world series tournament. It is a fast pitch competition involving 50 to 70 teams on July 27 through Aug. 2.

The Northern California Senior Games taking place April 25-30 will use BLD as their softball venue.

The turnstile count of 355,000 paid does not include those 12 and under who are admitted free. With youngsters included, the figure swells to just less than 400,000.