JACKSON, Miss. – Immediately, Gulf Coast Athletic Convention (GCAC) Commissioner Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes introduced that baseball is returning to the league as a sponsored sport, and together with that information was revealing that the Hank Aaron Sports activities Academy (HASA) will function the host website for the 2023 Hope Credit score Union (HOPE) GCAC Baseball Championship.
Previously referred to as Smith-Wills Stadium and former dwelling of the N.Y. Mets and Houston Astros MLB / MiLB groups, the 5,200-seat venue situated in Jackson, Mississippi, will host the league’s showcase baseball occasion for the following three seasons starting in 2023, with an choice to increase the keep on the famed venue for an additional two seasons after that.
“Baseball is a premier sport in our area, and for years we have had groups in our league which have certified for the HBCU World Collection with out having an opportunity to win a convention title till at this time,” Barnes mentioned. “Because of the Hank Aaron Sports activities Academy and Hope Credit score Union, our student-athletes can have an opportunity to showcase their abilities and one of the best of Black faculty baseball in a historic venue.”
Initially opening in 1975, the stadium has hosted skilled baseball in addition to musical concert events. With the addition of FieldTurf, the venue was transformed into a real multipurpose facility, capable of host quite a lot of sports activities and occasions together with soccer and soccer.
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“That is yet one more nice alternative for town of Jackson, MS., in addition to for all the student-athletes within the GCAC, we now have been very lucky to be chosen because the host and we’re wanting ahead to a long-term and mutually useful relationship with the GCAC,” mentioned Tim Bennett, HASA President and CEO. “The monetary impression of this event will definitely be appreciated right here within the capital metropolis as we proceed to develop and enhance with the help of Commissioner Kiki Baker Barnes and the GCAC.
HASA is designed to host youths from economically-disadvantaged areas of Mississippi and the southeastern area of the USA. The academy is the house of Jackson Public Excessive Faculty baseball, the Atlanta Braves RBI program, and plenty of different youth initiatives (summer time/fall youth leagues) as a part of the mission of Henry “Hank” Aaron.
“The financial, social and cultural contributions of HBCUs and their graduates can’t be overstated,” mentioned HOPE CEO Invoice Bynum. “We’re significantly proud to companion with GCAC and the Hank Aaron Sports activities Academy to construct on this legacy.”
HOPE is the Official Monetary Establishment of the GCAC, and title sponsor of the league’s basketball and baseball tournaments. HOPE additionally collaborates with GCAC member colleges to advance financial alternative for college students, employees, school, alumni and to enhance situations on and round their campuses.