Skip to main content

Local Youth Sports Leagues Merge; Cabarrus Could Miss Out On Economic Opportunity

Dec 22, 2015 02:18PM ● Published by Jason Huddle

Mason (Left) and Broome (Right) shake hands while Robin Phillips (Softball Director) Looks On.

 It is an established fact that traveling youth sports leagues, such as AAU and USSSA, can generate millions of dollars in impact for any region. One such league locally is Top Gun Sports, led by Donnie Broome and headquartered here in Cabarrus County. In 2015, Top Gun boasted a total 8,320 teams which played in their tournaments, generating a total of more than $47 million dollars in estimated economic impact, according to numbers compiled by the organization.

Last week, Broome announced a merge with Crystal Carolina Sports, a competitor of Top Gun for years that hosts tournaments primarily in western NC. Crystal Carolina brings another estimated additional 4,000 teams under Top Gun's umbrella and could mean a potential cash cow to any region willing to build large enough facilities to host tournaments Top Gun currently hosts tournaments in NC, SC, VA, WV, GA and TN, with plans to expand into Florida. Now, with the Crystal Carolina merger, Broome is more convinced than ever that his tournaments mean big money. "We're excited," he told CM. "With the relationships Don (Mason, Director, Crystal Carolina Sports) has built with teams - this may be the start of building a national brand." Broome went on to say that he has already received calls from other leagues about a possible merge. For his part, Mason says the perk packages and paid team berths to national tournaments that Top Gun offers made a merge with Top gun a "no-brainer" and he is equally excited about what the long-term union means, both for his organization and youth baseball in the region.

Tournaments take place almost every weekend between February and November during the year. Of those teams, there are an average of 15 players, plus coaches and parents that travel with the team. With anywhere from 4 to 70 or more teams participating in any given tournament, it's easy to see how the economic impact can add up fast - between "heads in beds" numbers, as well as retail and food purchases locally.

Broome said there have been proposals for Cabarrus County to build a large baseball/softball field complex in recent years, which would ensure that the County could keep more of those economic impact dollars. However, he also said nothing has moved past the conceptual stages as of yet. As a result, he has been forced to move many of his tournaments outside Cabarrus County into neighboring counties and even to Myrtle Beach, SC, because there simply aren't enough fields locally. According to Top Gun's figures, of the $47 million dollars of economic impact that Top Gun generated in 2015, Cabarrus County saw less than $7 million.

Broome concluded that, as a result of the merge with Crystal Carolina, he expects his total economic impact numbers to increase in 2016 by 33% percent. If that is indeed the case, it stands to reason that the first county to provide adequate facilities to host the larger tournaments could hit a homerun. The questions is, will Cabarrus County step up to the plate?

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features AAU USSSA Top Gun Sports Youth Baseball Crystal Carolina Sports Donnie Broome Don Mason

    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Free event open to anyone experiencing dementia, their loved ones and/or their care partners. S...

  • CBC Trivia Night


    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...

  • Namaste and have a Beer

    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...



    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...

  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...

  • Music on Means

    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Music on Means is a free outdoor concert series in Downtown Concord featuring a variety of region...

  • Small Business Saturday

    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...

  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017


    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...

  • Beth Moore Simulcast

    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    <Fayetteville, NC>– <September 23, 2017>– LifeWay Christian Resources and Living Proof ministries...

  • Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest


    This event at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis will be hosted by the Duke Clinica...

  • Cold-blooded fun Repticon

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This premiere reptile show shares these incredible creatures with the world. Enjoy exhibitions, e...

  • CON2

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    All ages - The worlds of Sci-Fi and Fantasy collide at the library! Come meet special guest of ho...

  • 11th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market, the 2017 Eastern...

  • Town Theatre's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    08:00PM — 10:15PM

    Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre...


    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...

  • A Vet Together

    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...

  • Thriller Dance Lessons

    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Ever wanted to learn the King of Pop’s famous Thriller dance? Now’s your chance! Head over to the...

Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors