State softball tournament brings tourism to greater Mankato area

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 12:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota State Softball Tournament is back in action at Caswell Park.

“The 32 teams that are here and ready to compete. They have worked all season long to be here,” said Lisa Lissimore, Minnesota State High School League associate director and state softball championships director.

The tournament is also a huge moneymaker for Caswell Park and the surrounding North Mankato community.

“This is our biggest event of the year. Usually, it’s about $1.8 million in economic benefit to the region,” Caswell Sports Director Phil Tostenson said.

“You have a city that is rallying behind a tournament like this and providing an opportunity for these young women,” Lissimore explained.

The newest hotel in North Mankato is reaping the benefits as well.

“I was actually at the Comfort Inn last night, meeting with another person from the high school league, and it was standing room only in there. It’s sold out tonight or last night and tonight. Which is great to see for upper North Mankato,” Tostenson explained.

It’s great for the economy, but also for the players, especially as they get to play at one of the most premier softball sites in Minnesota.

“There’s small schools, large schools, in-between schools and everyone is dying to get to play at Caswell Park,” Lissimore said.

Caswell Park putting North Mankato on the map isn’t going away anytime soon.

“But we have had it here for the previous 25 years and we are getting ready to sign a new five-year contract that will keep it here though, I think, 2026,” Tostenson said.

Which will only make North Mankato’s economy that much stronger and their softball community that much more powerful.

“No better place to host this state tournament. If you are a lover of softball, you couldn’t ask for a better complex,” Lissimore explained.

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