LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) —The Colt World series is leaving Lafayette after almost 50 years. Financially, the decision could affect many surrounding businesses and restaurants near Loeb Stadium.
However, a replacement tournament is in the works.
The Colt World Series has been a staple in the Lafayette community since 1969.
"I'm in shock actually. It's been here all of my life," said Jeremy Nicholas, a Lafayette resident. "I don't know the park without it."
That history is coming to a halt, at least for now.
Pony Baseball said because of low attendance in Lafayette, it's moving the Colt World Series to Marion, Illinois at the Rent One Park.
Lafayette Tournament President Tim Clark said the number of local baseball teams registering has gone down, partly because more players are signing up for travel baseball.
The tournament has always been a bank buster for the area. Organizers said it brought in more than a million dollars each summer.
"You're so busy for seven days and all of a sudden, boom -- there is no Colt World Series," said Jerry Hadley, Arni's Manager.
Hadley has been the manager of the nearby Arni's for the last 30 years.
"So, every time there is a Colt World Series, I'm always working it," said Hadley.
Clark said a different type of world baseball tournament is in the works for next summer, not associated with PONY baseball. It will be at the end of August instead of during the first week like the Colt World Series.
"If we put this together right, then we don't have a governing body over us saying, 'You have to do this and you have to do this,'" said Clark. "We can open this thing up and make it bigger and better than before, and bring in even more revenue into the community."
Fans and businesses said they'll miss the Colt World Series, but they look forward to the future at Loeb Stadium.
"It's good for the community. I'm enthusiastic about what it's going to bring," said Nicholas.
Pony Baseball extended the offer that if things don't work out in Marion, they may bring it back to Lafayette.
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