Triple Crown baseball to use Emerald Park fields for Mountain Magic, World Series tournaments
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After a few weeks of softball, Steamboat Springs will play host to the Triple Crown Mountain Magic baseball tournament the next two weekends.
The tournament is not the same as the July 22 to Aug. 4 Triple Crown World Series, which hosts a larger number of teams from around the western U.S. Mountain Magic is a regional baseball tournament on a smaller scale but might seem more present since it will be playing on fields at both Howelsen and Emerald Park this weekend.
In the past, the tournament used the fields at Howelsen and two fields in Hayden. This is the first time the tournament has used Emerald Park.
So far, the city and Triple Crown have teamed up to keep the fields in good condition and free of trash.
“Our event directors are trained to help pick up trash,” Triple Crown World Series director Roland Rivera said. “Last year, there was a situation with softball. But the city staffs up for our events because there’s more volume.”
Parks, Open Space and Trails manager Craig Robinson said, so far, the use of Emerald Park’s fields have had low impact on the city’s traffic, and trash is under control.
“It’s a coordinated effort,” Robinson said. “Triple Crown’s staff is helping; our staff is helping. It’s not normally nearly as busy as Howelsen. The fields are in much better condition because they are getting used and getting prepped more.”
The decision to use Emerald Park’s fields was sparked by school construction projects underway in Hayden that have rendered its fields unavailable for the tournament. Robinson said people traveling to Steamboat for the tournament appreciate being able to stay in town rather than spend more time on the road.
So far, parking hasn’t been an issue since the tournament is only using two of the four fields at Emerald Park. There are currently 30 parking spots dedicated to the Yampa River Botanic Park, and 100 spots available for baseball families.
According to Robinson, any sport hoping to use more than two fields at Emerald Park will need to come up with a transportation plan like shuttles or a carpool system from different lots. That will be the case this July during the World Series.
“We’ve had a person on-site to mitigate parking,” Rivera said. “We’ve been working with the resort on a transportation plan to use three fields in July.”
The World Series will encompass two weekends — July 26 to 28 and Aug. 2 to 4. The tournament used to be three weekends in length but has tapered off over the years.
With the proper planning in place, athletes and their families hope to enjoy long afternoons of baseball in the Yampa Valley.
“The first two weeks have been really great and smooth at Emerald,” Rivera said. “The valley is beautiful and as green as I’ve always seen it.”
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