The biggest, boldest and brightest youth baseball tournament in the world is back in action in 2022.
Triple Crown Sports is eager to produce the 20th annual Omaha SlumpBuster, which will welcome 675 teams over multiple sessions, beginning with 9u-14u play in and around the city from June 16-19. The tournament continues with sessions set for June 20-22 and June 23-26 – officials expect programs from over 40 states will be in attendance, with about 70 hotels in the area securing room nights from travel teams.
There are two dedicated Festival Nights at the SlumpBuster (June 16 and June 23), to be hosted by the Council Bluffs Recreation Complex in Council Bluffs, IA. The evening features an on-field skills challenge, vendors and merchandise shopping, pin trading, inflatables and baseball comedian Domingo Ayala counting down the clock for the traditional Burning of the Bats, where two 10-foot wooden bats are set ablaze along with a fireworks display.
All told, more than 30 complexes will be pulled into service for the event, which is bouncing back to pre-pandemic numbers. The 2019 event featured an all-time high of 736 teams and more than 500 teams in each of the previous four years.
The desire to play baseball in Omaha/Council Bluffs in early summer has evolved as well, with Triple Crown’s Pathway Baseball division set to run parallel events June 16-20 (15u/16u) and June 23-27 (17u/18u) in partnership with Iowa Western Community College. In this unique format, teams will stay on campus and be immersed in a college environment with strong competition while college coaches direct and educate along the way.
The SlumpBuster tournament is a marquee draw for teams as youth teams get the opportunity to see the College World Series, which runs concurrent with the tournament. The chance to play unique competition from around the nation and check out CWS action are the calling cards for the SlumpBuster.
“We are thrilled to be up near our historic pre-pandemic numbers in 2022,” said event director Brandon Hardy. “The past few years have been tough on everyone, but we couldn’t be more excited for this 20th edition of the SlumpBuster, which is sure to be one of our biggest and best events yet.”
“The 2022 Triple Crown SlumpBuster tournament will create an even greater sense of normalcy for Council Bluffs hospitality businesses than they’ve felt in the past three years,” said Mark Eckman, executive director of the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our hotels, restaurants, and other businesses can’t wait to see the flood of players and fans return to the metro. It’ll seem like a family reunion.”
“The Triple Crown SlumpBuster tournament is an exciting time in Omaha with thousands of young athletes, coaches and families pouring into our city and exploring attractions, dining in restaurants, and filling our hotels,” said Visit Omaha executive director Deborah Ward. “This year, the tournament is expected to make a $25 million impact on our local economy over the course of the three sessions.”
Follow the event on Twitter @TCSlumpBuster and Instagram @tcs_baseball.