Steamboat Springs Without the promise of more fields, Triple Crown founder Dave King said he is not willing to sign a contract with the city.
At Tuesday night's meeting, the City Council approved the five-year renewal contract but said Emerald Park is off limits to Triple Crown.
Without Emerald Park or the guarantee to work toward a solution to find more fields, King said the contract will not be signed.
"Without an option for adequate-caliber fields in Steamboat, and Emerald Park was the solution to that, I can't sign the contact as it stands right now," King said.
But City Council President Kathy Connell said pulling Emerald Park off the table was something the council had to do. The contract was contingent on Triple Crown using Emerald Park only after a second access issue was solved, and Connell said that could have taken longer than the term of the contract.
Before a second access is built, the city must first find the capital funds and mostly likely receive approval from Union Pacific Railroad.
But Connell and King both believe a solution exists that would provide more fields but preserve Emerald Park for locals.
On Wednesday, Connell discussed sending King a letter of clarification and putting an addition in the contract that would give the city 18 months to develop a plan on ways to build more fields.
Connell said Tuesday night the city had been in private negotiations to purchase land west of Steamboat Springs.
After 20 years and eight contracts with the city, King said there is always another solution or other options.
He also said Tuesday night was the first time he heard in this round of negotiations about the possibility of building new fields.
For nine years, King said he has been teased with Emerald Park, as city officials have guaranteed its use.
The first time was before it was built and again after the second access issue was solved and public opposition had died down.
But it still remains off limits to Triple Crown.
"It's been eight or nine years of promises," King said.
It is a concern Connell said she understands, but the council is also facing a difficult timeline.
The council is on break until Aug. 20, but by next week King wants to tell Triple Crown participants where next year's championship tournaments will be held.
"You can't run businesses on promises then have political winds change," Connell said. "We will tell him, and we are certainly putting in writing that we are trying to find more ball fields for our community."
Connell said nothing could be decided until the Aug. 20 council meeting.
Some council members such as Bud Romberg think the council has already spoken and the ball is in King's court.
"(Emerald Park) was the only change made (to the contract) and it was an extremely minor one. I don't think there was any way that access was going to occur in the term of the contract," Romberg said. "I think the city is looking for property out west of town to see if there is space to generate some fields.
"But I don't know where the money will come from."
King said his organization is reliant on quality playing fields and not having them for his championship tournaments could cost him customers.
Right now, six of the 20 fields are provided by the city, and the Steamboat Springs School District has the Strawberry Park field. Nine other fields are used in Craig, while Hayden and Oak Creek both provide two fields.
Although the city has committed $75,000 a year to improving its six fields, King said they are not championship-quality fields.
"Of the fields we play on currently, I would say seven (in Craig) are adequate. It is going to become more and more an issue on whether or not (players) will return based on facilities," King said.