Emily Seaver: No tourney in park
July 21, 2015
On Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council will again be hosting public comment on the subject of permitting Triple Crown to play at Emerald Park. I am opposed to this proposal for several reasons:
Why should the city permit Triple Crown to bring more teams here? They don't pay for use of the fields. Triple Crown pays Fort Collins at regular rates, but we pay them.
The 2010 contract calls for the city to pay Triple Crown $65,000 for using our fields. In addition, the city funds $75,000 per year, "… towards field improvements or field development. …" That's $140,000 per year or $1.4 million over the 10 years of the contract. That's enough already.
Not only do we pay them but bringing more teams will cost us taxpayers more money to maintain the fields to their specifications and to clear their trash after they leave.
Emerald Park was built for the local youth to play on because Triple Crown already had all our other fields. Friends who have children in youth sports tell me that, at the popular times for play, the Emerald Park fields are already overcrowded — that adding an aggressive Triple Crown schedule of practices and games may make it impossible for our kids to find a field to play on. So a vote to permit Triple Crown in Emerald Park is a vote against our kids.
Friends on Pamela Lane have endured the traffic for field games and the Botanic Park for 18 years. They point out that Triple Crown games will greatly add to that traffic and to their misery.
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The railroad has not approved the crossing necessary to accomplish the new entry. So it's possible the new entry will not be approved in 2015-16. In fact, it may never be approved. If Triple Crown is permitted in Emerald Park what city council will have the courage to vote them out?
Yampa River Botanic Park is enjoyed by 25,000 people each season, mostly tourists who buy rooms and eat meals and some come back year after year. Quiet people who enjoy the serenity of the park — the serenity in which to enjoy 60 gardens created and maintained by local volunteer people and local volunteer funding — serenity for inexpensive local weddings in beautiful surroundings. Noisy Triple Crown games all day next door will shatter that serenity and spoil one of the city's prime tourist attractions.
According to an unpublished economic study funded in part by the city, Triple Crown brings in about 1.5 percent of the city's total annual sales tax. The added sales tax from expansion into Emerald Park can only add a tiny fraction to that 1.5 percent. So you judge whether that is worth the cost to our community.
According to the recent city survey, 51 percent of our population does not rely on the local economy as their primary source of income. In other words, the majority of us do not necessarily want more tourists.
If you are also opposed, you could support this effort Tuesday at City Hall. The meeting starts at 5 p.m., and a resolution to approve the Triple Crown contract is the sixth item on the agenda.