BIG EAST Baseball Tourney, ESPN Comes to Clearwater

Bright House Field Set to Host Annual Eight-Team College Conference Championship

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (May 23, 2011) - For the fifth time in six years, the road to Omaha will run through Clearwater. 

The BIG EAST Baseball Championship takes place at Clearwater's Bright House Field, May 25-29, pairing the eight teams with the best regular season conference record in a double elimination tournament. 

The annual conference tournament is the first postseason step for players with hopes of advancing to college baseball's mecca---Omaha, Nebraska---and the College World Series. This year's CWS moves from historic Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium to TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha's sparkling new facility.

The St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission will host the BIG EAST tourney in partnership with the Clearwater Threshers, the Florida State League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. In addition to housing the Threshers, Bright House Field also serves as the Phillies' spring home.

"It's a real treat for the players to return to Bright House Field and use the same facilities that the guys they see on television use," said Kevin Smith, Director of the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission. "We've established a great relationship with the BIG EAST and to earn their repeat business says a lot about the destination."

Tomorrow's opening ceremonies---complete with a homerun derby, autograph session, live music and fireworks---will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Bright House Field. Admission is free to attend. 

Tournament play kicks off Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. as Pittsburgh takes on Louisville. Other games on Wednesday include St. John's and Cincinnati at 1:00 p.m., West Virginia and Seton Hall at 5:00 p.m. and Connecticut and Notre Dame at 8:00 p.m. 

The second round will be played on Thursday, with the tournament's quarterfinals taking place on Friday and the semifinals on Saturday, before Sunday's championship game at Noon.

The entire tournament, including tomorrow's opening ceremonies, can be viewed on BIGEAST.TV. In addition, Sunday's championship game will be broadcast nationally live on ESPNU.

Daily tournament passes can be purchased for as low as $8 for adults and $4 for seniors, students and children 13 and under. An all-tournament pass providing access to every game is available for $32/$16.

The tournament marks the second time this year that the BIG EAST will converge on the St. Pete/Clearwater area. 

In February, eight teams from the BIG EAST faced-off against eight teams from the Big 10 in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge. The three-day event was held at major league-caliber venues across the St. Pete/Clearwater area, including Bright House Field. 

To purchase tickets online or for more information, please visit the BIG EAST baseball website at http://www.bigeast.org/BIGEASTBaseball.aspx. 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

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For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall: Josh@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7223

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