The South Florida Amateur Athletics Association (SFAAA) hosts the 28th Annual Hurricane Showdown over Thanksgiving weekend. The SFAAA expects more than 1,500 players and guests from all over North America to visit Fort Lauderdale for this annual event. Players and guests from more than 70 teams start to arrive Wednesday, November 23, from 20+ cities including Toronto, Minneapolis, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and many others. This year’s Grand Slam Sponsor is Visit Lauderdale.
“After traveling all year to other tournaments, The Hurricane Showdown gives us a chance to welcome our softball friends to our home to enjoy our great community,” said Rocky Bowell, SFAAA Commissioner. He added “We continue to grow the experience each year and we keep seeing the growth in the number of players participating.”
The five-day event kicks off at 6:30pm on Wednesday the 23rd with the Hurricane Showdown’s first registration event at the World AIDS Museum & Educational Center (WAM). The event is open to players, their guests, and members of the SFAAA league who aren’t playing in the tournament. There will be a silent auction and an open bar sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. SFAAA selected WAM as the beneficiary of the Long Ball Derby taking place on the evening of Friday the 25th at Mills Pond Park. WAM Executive Director Terry Dyer said, “We are excited to partner with SFAAA and host the registration event for the Hurricane Showdown. Thank you to the league and the organizers for naming us as this year’s beneficiary. The HIV and AIDS epidemic affects all of us and we must end this fight together. WAM fosters any and every opportunity to connect with the community sharing our important and impactful work. Good luck to all the players this weekend and welcome to the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center.”
On Thanksgiving night from 6:30—8:30pm, the SFAAA invites our fans and neighbors to join them at Pub on the Drive for their first public event and registration party for the Showdown. The Pub is a multi-year sponsor of the Showdown plus they sponsored 8 teams this past fall season! The Pub kitchen will be open featuring a Thanksgiving dinner with proceeds to benefit The Poverello Center.
Friday night’s registration party will be held from 6-9pm at LeatherWerks. This is LeatherWerks’ first partnership with the SFAAA. Players and guests with a Hurricane Showdown wristband will save 10% on their purchase. Wayne Knaub, Director of Business Development for SFAAA, said, “I’m very excited to add LeatherWerks as a sponsor partner and as a host for our Friday night registration event. Historically we’ve done most of our events at bars or restaurants on The Drive. This expands our reach and offers a nice alternative event for our players and guests who are sober.”
Round Robin games begin Friday night at Mills Pond Park for those teams that opted to start a little early. The rest of the tournament kicks off Saturday morning at three different complexes. There are four divisions of skill levels participating in the tournament. SFAAA is a member city of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) and will be utilizing the skill level divisions as defined by NAGAAA. There will be an Upper Division that combines A and B levels. There will also be C, D and E divisions represented as well. All divisions will play at Mills Pond Park (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Brian Piccolo Park (Hollywood, FL), and Tradewinds Park (Coconut Creek, FL) on Saturday and Sunday. Double elimination bracket play begins Saturday afternoon. The SFAAA welcomes the public to come out and watch the games. Admission is free for the games however there is $1.50 per person park entrance fee at Piccolo and Tradewinds. There is no cost to park at Mills Pond. There will be concessions at all fields.
Saturday night’s Extra Innings party will be hosted by SFAAA sponsor Lit Bar Wilton Manors. The party at Lit Bar goes from 7-10pm. Lit offers cornhole, darts, giant Jenga and great music in a combo indoor/outdoor LGBT bar.
The best day to watch the games is Championship Sunday. The Upper and E Divisions will have their championships at Tradewinds. The C and D Divisions will have their championships at Mills Pond Park. The schedule on game times varies, but your best bet to watch games that will result in trophies will be starting at noon at both complexes.
The tournament winds down with the Awards Party hosted by Homerun Sponsor Hamburger Mary’s from 4-10pm on Sunday night. Trophy and MVP presentations will be scattered during the 6-hour party hosted by Jasmine Pryce Lords complete with pop up drag performances. Hurricane Showdown players and guests receive 10% off food at Mary’s. The public is welcome to come out to Mary’s to meet and applaud all the Showdown players.
For more information go to Sfaaasoftball.com/hurricaneshowdown