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Columbus Hosts 2021 Gay Softball World Series, Biggest Event Since Start Of Pandemic

 A softball player swings at a pitched during the 2015 Gay Softball World Series at Columbus' Berliner Park, which will host the event again this week.
Gay Softball World Series
A softball player swings at a pitched during the 2015 Gay Softball World Series at Columbus' Berliner Park, which will host the event again this week.

Columbus is laying out the welcome mat for the 2021 Gay Softball World Series this week. City leaders are calling it Columbus’ biggest event since the pandemic started with over 4,000 players on 230 teams expected to compete.

“All of the games are at Berliner sports park which is a great facility in Columbus,” said the event’s executive director, Dallas Aldridge. “It’s actually the largest softball complex in the United States.”

Aldridge said COVID prevention measures will be in place.

“We’ve worked with the Columbus Health Department on our COVID planning and put a lot of precautions in place and even the players are required to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of registering for the event,” he said.

This is the third time Columbus has hosted. The last time in 2015, 184 teams competed for the championship.

Aldridge said the event is expected to bring in about $11 million for hotels restaurants and other businesses.

He adds that safety is a very high priority.

“We’re highly recommending masks for anything indoors,” Aldridge said. “At all of our events there’s signage recommending social distancing, recommending masks be worn for vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals and there’s sanitation stations throughout any dugout in the fields throughout our events.”