OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Millions of dollars are being pumped into Oklahoma City’s economy, thanks to the Women’s College World Series.
Nearly 13,000 fans will flood the Hall of Fame stadium as they hope their team comes out on top. Over the course of the 9-day event, the Oklahoma City Visitors’ Bureau says there will be an economic boost of nearly $25 million.
Fans are ready for a packed week as they cheer on all eight teams, including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
“I grew up watching softball and I grew up playing softball, so it’s really exciting to be here and to see this,” said Riley Bane, an OU fan.
“Born and raised OSU fan. My parents have been fans their entire lives, so I just love OSU,” said Dominick Simmons, an OSU fan.
Lines to get in are out the door.
One fan KFOR spoke with says it’s amazing to see how the sport has evolved.
“My mom and dad started the first softball league for girls in Oklahoma City back in the early 1960s because girls didn’t have teams to play for,” said Cindy Merrick, an OU and OSU fan.
Merrick was one of the first softball athletes at OSU and is now a fan of both teams.
The Oklahoma City Visitors’ Bureau says the week is huge economically for the city.
“You’re talking about 150,000 plus people is what we’re hoping for, which we think will total an economic impact that could meet or exceed $25 million,” said Adam Wisniewski, the VP of sports, Visit OKC.
A lot of that money comes from out-of-state visitors.
“It sells out in less than 24 hours. People don’t even know who’s playing yet and they’re willing to travel across the country to come to be a part of this tournament in this championship,” said Wisniewski.
For fans, this week is all about supporting local teams.
“It is the fourth year in a row that I wish you cowgirls to be to the world series. They’ve had some struggles this year, but they are playing tremendous softball and it’s really, really fun to watch them,” said Brad raven, an OSU fan.
“We love to see what Patty’s doing out there. What she’s building here is truly special,” said Harvey Cooper, an OU fan.
Though some fans KFOR spoke with, are conflicted on who to cheer for.
“I also grew up playing softball, so I’m a huge fan, honestly, getting my master’s OU now as well. But if I had to be honest, I’m rooting for the Pokes tonight. So go Pokes,” said Emma Northcott, an OSU fan.
Games will continue all weekend with the best of three championships starting next Wednesday.