Steamboat Springs The city has reached an agreement with Triple Crown that would have the city presenting a plan 18 months from now adding additional baseball fields.
City Council President Kathy Connell said Emerald Park is still off the table, but wording will be added to the Triple Crown contract allowing the city to devise a plan for building two to four more fields. If the city does not present a plan by the end of 2003, Triple Crown can get out of the contract after the 2004 season.
"It is a win for (Triple Crown founder Dave King). He gets new quality fields. It is a win for us, we get pressure off of late schedules, which was the last great community concern," Connell said.
The City Council will vote on the agreement at the Aug. 20 council meeting, more than a month after it approved the Triple Crown five-year renewal contract that made Emerald Park off limits.
At that time, King said the contract would not be signed without Emerald Park or the guarantee of finding more fields.
A plan in 18 months is a comprise King is willing to accept.
"The defining issue was the number of quality fields. It is not that we need them next year, but we do in the length of a five-year contract," he said. "It is real important to get facilities that are at the caliber of having baseball championships."
Of the fields used for the championship tournaments just one is not a multi-use field, King said.
By 2005, he would like to have something tentatively in place for more fields.
Connell said possibilities exist to build fields on land west of Steamboat.
Although King sees the adjustment as a small change to the contract, Triple Crown will have some big changes next year.
Because of the city and community's opposition to expanding Triple Crown in Steamboat, King is moving the softball fastpitch tournaments to Park City, Utah, while keeping the baseball tournaments in Steamboat.
That means Steamboat will see fewer teams next year, but the numbers should return to normal in 2004 and 2005 as the baseball tournaments expand. King said the difference in 2003 would mean three weekend tournaments with about 105 teams, compared to 120 teams this year.