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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Sports Park too big, too expensive

  • I have been involved with adult softball for over 50 years as a player, coach, umpire and A.S.A district commissioner. I ran the adult leagues at city-owned Dockrey Park for 30 plus years. I feel I have to express some opinions concerning the new proposed sports complex. I will admit that I have had little experience ...
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  • I have been involved with adult softball for over 50 years as a player, coach, umpire and A.S.A district commissioner. I ran the adult leagues at city-owned Dockrey Park for 30 plus years. I feel I have to express some opinions concerning the new proposed sports complex. I will admit that I have had little experience with youth softball and baseball, but the assumption that 17 plus baseball tournaments can be held seems highly inflated to me. This complex will have to compete with established programs in Moore, Midwest City, and other nearby cities and whaever the CPN has in mind.
    Who is going to be responsible for the preparation and maintenance of these fields? In my dealings with the city of Shawnee, they always seemed stretched to the limits to provide enough manpower and equipment to do what was required. Is the city going to hire additional personnel to do the job? It may take at least six to eight full-time employees and some expensive equipment. This certainly won’t help the city’s budget woes.
    If the tournaments make, there will indeed be some income from restaurants, gas stations, motels, etc., but most teams will be within driving distance and return home after their games are over, whether they be softball, baseball, or soccer.
    If 61 employees, which seems excessive, are needed to run the facility, they will be minimum wage seasonal employees, probably best-suited for young people.
    I do believe the city needs a complex for youth, but like the Citizens for Responsible Government, I believe the park is too big and too expensive. Why not wait and see how many tournaments will make and then add on if necessary?
    Here we go once again. The Expo Center wants $2.5 million, and Dockrey Park which was built approximately 35 years ago still has no drinking water. This is incredible and embarrassing. If the city can award $2.5 million to the Expo Center, they can come up with enough money to provide a city park with drinking water.
    I won’t support the proposed sports complex the way it is currently set up and sure can’t support $2.5 million for the Expo Center.
    Chuck Adams,
    Shawnee

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