PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Publix Sports Park will start off its busy summer with the Ripken Select Tournament.

“Certainly no bigger name than Ripken,” Publix Sports Park General Manager Mike Higgins said. “It’s cool to welcome him to the community and see what we’re doing here firsthand.”

The tournament in Panama City Beach is one of seventeen locations around the country with 54 teams competing in this year’s event.

“Ripken is all about the experience,” Higgins said. “Their numbers are a little lower than really could be, but they’re more a quality experience versus overall quantity.”

The goal of the park is to build tourism in the area, especially during the times tourism sees a decline. The park has been fulfilling those goals, hosting events almost every day over the summer.

“The goal is to be an anchor for sports tourism for the community,” Higgins said. “We are all about booking whatever we can do that drives that economic impact for the community.”

The Ripken Select Tournament kicks off with a free clinic for the community on Saturday, June 3.