Steamboat City Council decides future of Triple Crown at Tuesday’s meeting |

Steamboat City Council decides future of Triple Crown at Tuesday’s meeting

Matt Hanson, pitcher for the Colorado Elite of Castle Rock, fires toward home in a game against the Saddleback Cowboys of California. The teams were competing in the 13s elite bracket of the 2019 Triple Crown World Series at Howelsen Hill.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs City Council will vote Tuesday on a final contract agreement with Triple Crown Sports.

The contract comes after months of negotiations between the two entities. Council voted unanimously this summer not to allow Triple Crown to return amid COVID-19 restrictions that would have required a variance from the state health department.

In October, the city and Triple Crown each proposed options relating to public health guidelines, field use fees and city sponsorship fees, and council members expressed mixed feelings over a partnership with the youth sports organization.

Though Triple Crown has held baseball tournaments in Steamboat for more than 10 years, many city residents believed its impact on the community was too large, said City Council President Jason Lacy.

“I think what we’ve heard very loud and clear from the community is the impact from Triple Crown has become too much over the past decade,” he said. “This new contract is an attempt to see a much more reduced impact that might be acceptable for the community.”

To address community concerns, the new contract requires Triple Crown to pay $35,000 to $40,000 in field use fees annually, and the city will not be required to make any capital investments to host the tournaments nor will the city pay a sponsorship fee. The contract also specifies play is limited to youth events only, with no more than 70 teams for Triple Crown’s largest events.

“The current agreement under consideration is much different from the prior one and addresses many concerns voiced,” said Steamboat Parks & Recreation Director Angela Cosby.

Some council members expressed concern over ushering such a large number of people into the community this summer as COVID-19 restrictions may still be in place.

“I’m questioning whether or not it’s appropriate to approve this contract with the situation we’re in with uncertainty from constituents who are crying out for us to say we want a few things for our local community,” said council member Sonja Macys. “I think we need to give this some time to play out with COVID and how it looks for us coming down the pipeline.”

“We’ve had numerous public comments asking us to please not do this,” added council member Heather Sloop.

Other council members said Triple Crown supported Steamboat in July 2020, despite tournaments being canceled, and they said they believed council should return the support.

“We had a lot of visitors in the spring and summer that were the families of Triple Crown kids who had made reservations and chose to come to Steamboat anyway,” said council member Robin Crossan. “They contributed to our community this spring when we really needed help, and I think we need to remember that as we go into making this decision.”

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