In Part 2, we looked at the numbers and dollars of tickets sold and attendance. A little deeper in, especially within Form 990, you’ll see some real figures that were given by the accountant/treasurer of the ALWS in Shelby. It’s hard to reconcile these actual figures with the numbers given out over the years by the tourism folks, the commissioners, the city council, and various other appointed and elected officials. Again, I want to clarify, that these are not my numbers. These are taken directly from what the ALWS turned in to the IRS. If you look at the top right-hand corner of the 990 Form, you will notice the big bold print: “Open to Public Inspection”.
Each year of the series seems to bring more people to the games. Which means more tickets and more money, right? In several instances, this isn’t the case. Also, the tourism folks seem to hype the attendance numbers, ticket numbers, and dollars spread around by their calculations. For instance:
The total economic impact of the 2018 American Legion World Series for the region clocked in at $16 million. The tournament topped its ticket sales record this year with 128,157 tickets sold.
The tournament is also credited with 1,500 hotel room nights in 2018.
— Shelby Star
Below, here is an excerpt from a post from the ALWS (Shelby) Facebook page, from December 2018:
However, this piece from a news source in 2010 from a different city, has an almost identical excerpt as the one above from the Shelby Star from 2018. Coincidence or, something else? The information is very similar even though 8 years apart, especially since the piece from 2010 had the same 1500 rooms number for a lesser number of attendees/tickets as 2018. (128,157 tickets sold)
Having the above information, now let’s look at the reality side of it all.
The seating capacity is approximately 5500 people. (allowing approx. 18″ per seat/person)
The standing room is between 100-150 people, according to the fire marshall.
Any amount above the figures given here would be a danger. As stated earlier, 128,157(attendees) divided by 15 games = 8,543.8 persons per game. So, according to the fire marshall’s information, the numbers reported to the public by the ALWS personnel seem to be a stretch, and not remotely possible, or even within the conditions set by the Means of Egress statute.
The 990 Forms from 2015, 2017, and 2018. (to view full screen, click on the diagonal arrow in the top right corner)