SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- With the Little League World Series over, organizers have already begun thinking about the future of the games, and some pretty big changes are on the way.
Little League International held a news conference on Saturday to unveil their new plans for the 2021 World Series. The changes are expected to bring more people to the tournament and surrounding area than ever before.
Officials plan to increase the field to 20 teams starting in 2021. Along with more players, Little League will be undergoing more than $10 million worth of renovations for the expansion.
"Improvements to a number of infrastructures that are aging, our infirmary, our laundry facilities. We are going to put in new dormitories to accommodate the additional teams and then we are going to make some improvements to our concession area and the merchandising area," said Steve Keener of Little League International.
The decision to expand is part of an effort to share the tournament with as many kids as possible.
"Acts of good sportsmanship and fun and just enjoying the experience and playing against kids from other countries and getting to know kids from other cultures and we want to give more kids that opportunity, so that's the reason for doing it."
The 2021 Little League expansion will add four more teams and an extra day of baseball to the World Series which may have a boost on the local economy.
"It's going to be big for us," said Jason Fink of the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. "It extends the Little League World Series by another day. It gives the business community another opportunity to be able to experience the opportunities from the Little League World Series."
One of the businesses that hopes to benefit from an extra day of baseball is the Hampton Inn in downtown Williamsport. The hotel is already completely booked for the 2020 World Series.
"That actually is a big boon for us. I mean that's exciting because again, Little League is huge and it's a lot of revenue, it's a lot of business for us and to have an additional day is more icing on the cake," said the Hampton Inn's Shelby Engle.
The renovations to the Little League complex will begin in the coming months and will be paid for by Little League International.