CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - While Southwest Florida gears up for spring training, college baseball is already in full swing in Charlotte County!
Teams from all over the country will be here for the next several weeks competing in the 6th Annual Snowbird Baseball Classic. Indiana State and Auburn started things off Friday afternoon.
"We actually left about 20 inches of snow on the ground back home," says Coach Mitch Hannahs from Indiana State.
From snowy Indiana to sunny Southwest Florida. Indiana State head coach Mitch Hannahs says his Sycamores couldn't wait to make their debut in this year's Snowbird Classic.
"I know our players are very excited to get over there and play in the stadium where big leaguers run and play and for them that's a big deal," he adds.
With a following of about a hundred fans, Indiana State is joining 44 DI and DIII teams in the tournament. Founder Steve Dartington says the classic has grown every year.
"There's no other place in the United States that has 24 Division I teams coming to play at one time... this is an economic driver for Charlotte County, it's a big event, we probably have 10 or 11,000 hotel nights," he says.
Generating between six and eight million dollars for the county.
"They like the weather they like playing here you know they're seeing green grass," Dartington adds.
For a complete schedule, head here: http://snowbirdbaseball.info/tournament-info/2013-schedule/