Triple Crown sliding into Emerald Park again next year after trial basis
Triple Crown allowed to use Emerald Park ball fields through Summer 2020
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Triple Crown Sports will continue to play baseball and softball at Emerald Park.
This summer saw Triple Crown’s first year playing ball on the fields at Emerald Park after convincing Steamboat Springs City Council to allow games on the fields on a trial basis. Triple Crown sought to use the fields after the permanent loss of two baseball fields at the Hayden Elementary School due to construction of a new school.
In February, City Council approved Triple Crown’s use with several conditions, including a damage deposit from Triple Crown, adherence to a parking plan created by city staff and a commitment from the organization that its schedule wouldn’t interfere with scheduled events at Emerald Park and the neighboring Yampa River Botanic Park. The city also required a review of the impacts of Triple Crown play at the park after the summer season.
That review happened Tuesday, Oct. 15, and with no detractors in the audience, council gave Triple Crown the go-ahead to play at Emerald Park in 2020. The city’s contract with Triple Crown expires after summer 2020, at which point its use of all city parks could be renegotiated.
“Some of our previous discussions focused on concerns about parking, user conflicts, noise and trash,” said Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Manager Craig Robinson. “I think both city staff and Triple Crown Sports did a great job working to eliminate those.”
As a result of Triple Crown’s use of Emerald, the city implemented a parking plan and designated 30 parking spaces at the park for the Yampa River Botanic Park, Robinson said. Triple Crown had staff monitor the Botanic Park parking at each event to ensure it was used only by those visiting the Botanic Park, issued parking permits and shuttled teams from the Meadows Parking Lot, he added.
Triple Crown also paid $1,650 in field use fees and $4,285 for capital improvements, which the city used to install a new drinking fountain and water bottle refill station, Robinson said.
Earlier this year, residents opposed to Triple Crown’s use of Emerald Park turned out in force, many of them worried the tournaments would disrupt their enjoyment of the Botanic Park. They were noticeably absent from Tuesday’s meeting. There was no public comment on the matter.
Council member Lisel Petis asked Robinson if staff had received complaints about the program. She said she hadn’t heard any.
“Not on Triple Crown sports,” he replied. “We had a good season with them.”
Council member Heather Sloop asked if city staff had sought feedback from the Botanic Park. Robinson said staff had notified them of the meeting and made sure they’d seen documents presented at the meeting.
“I believe they (Triple Crown) were good communicators and did what they said they were going to do by monitoring the parking throughout the summer,” Robinson said.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today could not reach Triple Crown CEO Keri King for comment Wednesday.
To view the City Council’s discussion on this topic and documents presented at the meeting, visit steamboatsprings.net/agendas.
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