The Madison Heights Youth Baseball Association decided to hold a World Series tournament in 2024 largely because of the appearance of the US 29 Business Corridor, MHYBA Chairman Ronnie Adams of the Board of Supervisors recently advised. of Amherst County.
Supervisor Jimmy Ayers asked Adams to speak about the failed bid during the public comment section of the September 20 board meeting. Adams said when a locality’s program applies to bid to host the World Series, representatives are sent to review the potential host site and surrounding areas.
Amherst County hosted the World Series in 2001, 2007 and 2011, according to Adams.
Ayers said it was disheartening to hear the county was turned down primarily because of the aesthetics of the US 29 corridor, a topic that has sparked discussion for years among county officials.
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“Of course, I’ve been on this platform for several years since I’ve been on the board,” said Ayers, who has served on the board since 2016. “That has always concerned me…I think that’s an issue we have to solve.
In addition to the celebratory atmosphere that a World Series brings, the financial benefit to the local Dixie Youth program from out-of-state visitors is in the tens of thousands of dollars, Ayers said.
“That’s a lot of money for this youth program,” Ayers said.
Adams said programs are categorized by sports facilities, community appearance and accommodations. World Series representatives travel within a mile of the fields in various directions to review the appearance and availability of accommodation within a 20 mile radius.
“When they came through Madison Heights, I knew we had been shot,” Adams said. “It was just a 29 Corridor F [grade], that’s what we have. They expect better.
Adams said the Madison Heights Youth Baseball Association, which also owns the Madison Heights Community Center on Woodys Lake Road, lost a year and a half of revenue by not being able to rent it because of the pandemic.
“We’re not broke but we’re hurting,” Adams said. “And that was going to be the shot in the arm that we really needed. That was it.”
In 2007, the program made approximately $50,000 hosting the World Series and $80,000 six years prior.
“It was pretty disheartening to get shut down,” Adams said.
In 2025, he will be 71 and he doesn’t know if it’s up to him to try the offer again, he told supervisors.
“Is it worth my time?” Adams asked. “It’s a lot of paperwork to prepare another proposal…but we need to step up a gear. We didn’t this time.
Adams said he didn’t know which part of the US Corridor’s appearance 29 fell under the Virginia Department of Transportation versus the county.
The financial boost from a World Series tournament would help boost program results by covering unforeseen expenses, he said. Despite the setback, the Dixie Youth program is doing well, he told supervisors.
“We’re having a great fall season right now,” Adams said. “We have 200 children, which is more than ever in the fall program. People come out. They question themselves. But we need that shot in the arm…”
The county has formed the Highway 29 Beautification Committee in recent years, which meets regularly to research ways to improve the overall appearance of the corridor, and other county cleanup efforts have been underway.
Ayers said he felt more effort was needed and it was up to the county to work with businesses and stakeholders to improve the appearance of the corridor. He called the missed opportunity inexcusable.
“There’s no reason we couldn’t have this World Series for our kids,” Ayers said.