Team guarantee aids in helping pay for turf

The projected turf on the fields at Fountain Bluff Sports Complex will look similar to this rendering. A guarantee agreement of at least 850 teams using the complex will provide revenues to help pay for new turf at the complex.

LIBERTY — Earlier this month, an agreement was signed between Liberty Parks Director BJ Staab and Kansas City Sports, LLC, an event management company, to guarantee at least 850 teams annually will use Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, 2200 Old Missouri Highway 210 in Liberty.

Staab said he worked to make this agreement happen as the city council, last month, approved an ordinance for a contract with Astroturf Corporation for the conversion of the natural grass baseball and softball fields to synthetic turf for almost $4 million.

“Almost since Fountain Bluff has opened, we have had a memorandum of understanding with KC Sports,” Staab said. “This agreement is a 10-year agreement. They have been good partners for us.”

According to the contract, the teams are to bring in $103 each, totaling $87,550. Staab said there could be an additional 250 teams, which over a 10-year span could generate more than a $1 million for the city.

“This guaranteed play affects concessions at the complex, but it also affects hotels and other businesses in town, too,” Staab said. “That ripple effect is important. It’s a win-win for Liberty and for the teams coming.”

Kansas City Sports LLC will bring in boys baseball, girls fast-pitch softball and adult softball.

In the contract, “Payment will be based on a per-team rate for youth baseball and girls fast-pitch tournaments. The contractor will be invoiced at a rate of $103 per team, up to 1,000 teams, with a guaranteed payment up to 850 teams in a calendar year.”

For every team above 1,000 in a calendar year, the city will be paid at a rate of $100 per team. Payment will be based on a per-game rate for adult softball tournaments.

“Knowing the turf is a large upfront cost, this will help make those payments,” Staab said. “Kansas City Sports knows my expectations and what is needed as a tournament organizer.”

The contract also states KC Sports “shall be given access to schedule use of the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex for baseball, fast-pitch and slow-pitch weekend events between March 1 to Dec. 1.”

Staab said the right of first offer doesn’t preclude the complex management and schedulers from finding teams to play when teams from KC Sports are not playing.

“Again, this is that win-win-win scenario,” Staab said. “The city benefits, the athletes linked to KC Sports and to those on other teams as well.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

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