COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Softball teams from across the world are competing in Columbus this weekend as the Fountain City hosts the 2019 USA Softball International Cup at South Commons.
The Columbus Sports Council led the effort to bring this tournament to Columbus. Columbus Sports Council Executive Director Merri Schurman says South Commons had $4.8 million worth of renovations done in the last few months to get ready for this tournament.
“We are excited to host the International Cup here in Columbus. I think it brings an awareness to our facility and to South Commons especially with the newly [completed] renovations that have taken place here. It exposes us to the softball community and to all tournaments around the globe,” Schurman said.
The Olympic softball games were played in Columbus when Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. This is the first time USA Softball has played in Columbus since Team USA claimed gold in 1996.
“I think having the USA Softball International Cup return to Columbus brings it full circle for us. I was here in 1996 when the Olympics was played here in Columbus and having them take our field for the first time over here after the renovations is truly something special," Schurman explained.
Ret. General Carmen Cavezza was the Executive Director of Columbus ’96, which was a support committee for Olympic games. He says having USA softball return Columbus is like deja vu.
“As I understand it, the softball is going back into the Olympics again and we were the first one to have it in the Olympics and I thought that’s really going to put Columbus on the map because people will kind of, you say women’s softball, you think of Columbus, Georgia and boom they take it out. Well somebody got smart and they put it back in and think I revisit that thought," Cavezza said.
The USA Softball International Cup will wrap up this Sunday, July 7.