Washington D.C. Is Making M.A.G.I.C. Over Independence Day Weekend
There’s something about this time of the year that makes everyone feel better about living in the United States and after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision making marriage equality the law of the land, most of us are feeling especially good about living in the good ol’ US of A.
This time of year also brings the gay softball community a bevy of tournaments to play in on the road to the Gay Softball World Series. A relatively new addition to the 4th of July weekend tournament roster is the Mid-Atlantic Gay Invitational Classic, otherwise known as the M.A.G.I.C. Tournament! Last year this tournament made the move to Independence Day weekend and it is beginning to pay off. The tournament’s date seems like a natural fit and it’s a spot within the tournament calendar that M.A.G.I.C. is already gaining a market share on in just its second year. Why wouldn’t it? Our nation’s capitol should be hosting its tournament on our nation’s birthday, it just makes too much sense!
Matt Rinker is the tournament director for the 2015 M.A.G.I.C. Tournament and he’s presided over a significant increase in participation year over year. “I think our increase is natural because who wouldn’t want to spend July 4th in Washington, DC. Last year was our first year holding the tournament over 4th of July weekend. We didn’t expect to draw a large amount of teams, especially with us having World Series in 2013,” said Rinker.
All told, 28 teams across three divisions will compete for trophies in our nation’s capitol this 4th of July weekend and all of the participants will be in for some welcome changes and additions to this year’s tournament. “We have secured licenses to sell beer at the fields on both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday, we will be bringing the ‘Party to the Park’ with music and other games besides softball. We will also have a mini-kickball game on Sunday. All of the events should entice teams to hang around for the championship games,” added Rinker.
The main host hotel will be the Cambria Suites in Washington, DC. There are two satellite hotels, the Omni Shoreham and the Greenbelt Marriott. “We had to change hotels because last year’s host hotel is undergoing a major renovation and rebranding,” said Rinker. The field complex hosting all tournament games will be Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which is where the CAPS league games are played too.
The tournament weekend kicks off on Friday, July 3rd with an Early Registration Happy Hour at the Cambria Suites’ American Bistro & Bar. The event will run from 3 pm to 6 pm, which will give those participants arriving early the opportunity to socialize prior to the Night Out at the Nationals! The Washington Nationals will be hosting an event specifically for the M.A.G.I.C. tournament on Friday night. The game against the San Francisco Giants starts at 6:05 pm so visit the tournament website (click the logo out the top of this page) to get your tickets now. Friday night will roll on to Ziegfields & Secrets for the final registration event of the day. Register from 9 pm to 11 pm and take in some of the best drag performances and hottest men in one evening of fun! Anyone headed to the registration party from the baseball game will get in free with their baseball game ticket.
Saturday starts pool play with double elimination play beginning in the afternoon. The tournament is trying to get all games completed on Saturday by 6 pm so that all of the tournament participants can take in the fireworks spectacular around Washington, DC whether it be at the Cambria Suites, the Washington Mall or at JR’s Bar & Grill. JR’s will be the Saturday night host bar for the tournament and will have great views of the fireworks display.
Sunday will be a day full of fun and some intense softball action leading up to championship games in the afternoon. Sunday Funday will be in full effect as the tournament committee is bringing the ‘Party to the Park’ with kickball, cornhole, beer sales and music to add some extra fun to the softball festivities. After the trophies have been won, the official Championship Celebration & Closing Party will be at Nellie’s Sports Bar from 5 pm to 9 pm. Trophies will be handed out at this event.
No tournament can thrive without great sponsors and the folks in Washington, DC have some awesome tournament sponsors this year. Some of the event sponsors have been mentioned like Ziegfields/Secrets, JR’s and Nellie’s. However, teams will want to hit up Floriana and Logan Tavern for team dinners over their weekend stay and we can’t forget about the Green Lantern, which should be at the top of any bar hoppers list. “Aside from increasing the number of teams in MAGIC, I know that a great softball tournament is about more than what happens on the field. Before moving to DC last year, I was a board member in Atlanta and through the leadership of Kyle Miller and Jay Malloy, HSL’s Big Peach Tournament has really become a party in addition to a softball tournament. That’s been my inspiration for sponsorship of MAGIC,” added Matt Rinker, MAGIC Tournament Director.
The Diamond Dish is happy to be headed to Washington, DC to witness all of the softball drama unfold. Check in with us on our twitter page, @softballdish and on our Facebook page for updates, pictures and more this weekend.