Wilson Prepares To Host College Baseball Regional
Posted May 16, 2001 6:54 a.m. EDT
WILSON — Next week, the city of Wilson will host part of the national college baseball championship series. The stadium that was nearly destroyed is making a dramatic comeback.
The finishing touches are going on now for one of Fleming Stadium's biggest visits. Next week,East Carolina Universitywill battle three other colleges for a chance to win the national baseball crown.
"Wilson's been great to us. To be right between Greenville and Raleigh, our two biggest markets, it gives fans a chance to get there as well as all the people from eastern North Carolina who support East Carolina University," says Lee Workman, Assistant Athletic Director at ECU.
This will be Wilson's first baseball regional - one of just 16 nationwide, but it almost never happened. A few years ago, there was talk of tearing down the ballpark, built back in the 1930s, and selling the land.
Instead, the city of Wilson decided to fix up Fleming Stadium. In 1997, they spent about $300,000 on the place. They recouped almost all of what they spent in four years.
Since the improvements, the city landed a pro team, the Wilson Tobs, along with two Babe Ruth tournaments and commitments for two more.
"This is a baseball community, and this is just something else that we, together with ECU and the Wilson Tobs, can bring to the community," says Kent Montgomery, director of Wilson's Parks and Recreation department.
The games begin next Friday, May 25 and last through Sunday. Tickets are available to the general public on Thursday.