Council approves Triple Crown

Agreement finalizes five-year contract

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— The City Council gave final approval for a five-year renewal contract with Triple Crown Sports.

In a 5-1 vote, council finalized a contract that would require the city to present a plan for two to four new fields within a 12-month period. If the city did not approve the plan, Triple Crown could terminate the contract at the end of the 2004 season without penalty.

Councilman Steve Ivancie was the lone opposing vote.

Speaking for the Yampa Valley Community Alliance, Stuart Orzach asked the council if the contract would allow Triple Crown to grow. He pointed to the agreement that would allow for two optional tournaments in September.

But Park and Recreation Director Chris Wilson said the new plan does not mean more Triple Crown.

Orzach said he believed the city's plan for new fields would be an excellent opportunity for the private sector to contribute in building new playing fields. And he also noted Triple Crown and expanding fields were both ranked as low priorities on the 2002 Community Survey.

The city had approved the contract at a July 16 meeting but said Emerald Park was off limits. Triple Crown founder Dave King said without the promise of more fields he was not willing to sign the contract.

On Aug. 20, the council approved the contract revision and set the date for the rehearing of the contract, which required the city to come up with a plan for new fields. The contract will also allow for the two negotiating parties to meet each December to review what fields are available for use.

"What is not written is more important than what is written. We would love to start later and finish earlier. We would love to play on better fields," King said. "Our good will has not changed."

The contract would also require the city to budget $75,000 per year toward field improvements, make Emerald Park off limits to Triple Crown and have the Chamber Resort Association fund the sponsorship cost of $75,000.

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