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Ports land WCC tourney

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Banner Island Ballpark

Nice catch: the Stockton Ports (High Class A; California League) are hosting the 2013 West Coast Conference Baseball Championship at Banner Island Ballpark.

The 2013 WCC Championship is set to take place at the ballpark from May 23-25, which will mark the first year the conference has gone to a four-team, neutral-site championship.

“This is a big move for the West Coast Conference and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Ports Director of Business Development Tim Pasisz said. “We’re proud to announce that Banner Island Ballpark is the WCC Baseball Championship’s new home.”

The event will be presented in cooperation with the Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Banner Island Ballpark will host the top four teams from the WCC in the Championship next year, with a practice day taking place on May 22, and competition from the 23-25. The conference currently consists of nine schools: Brigham Young, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara. The WCC is the future home of University of the Pacific, which will join the conference in 2013-14.

"We are thrilled to bring the West Coast Conference baseball championship to Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "The Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Stockton Ports have been great partners throughout the bid process, and we look forward to hosting our event there in 2013.  We believe this event is a great vehicle to introduce the West Coast Conference to Stockton and the Central Valley, an important new market for us with the University of the Pacific joining our conference in 2013-2014."

As pro teams are finding out, landing a neutral-site college tourney can be big business. The SEC tourney brings millions of dollars to the greater Birmingham area, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low Class A; Sally League) set an attendance record for most fans to a college baseball game in North Carolina during this year's ACC tourney.

Image by John Moist.

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