The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

BEACON Athletics Weekly Updates / And Deals ! (Sept.)

Perfect way to consistently get your work in with

Realistic Pitches.

Don’t throw your arm out, let the machine do it.
“The Hack Attack’s three-wheel design eliminates delays caused by pivoting the throwing head when changing pitches. It’s so fast you can instantly dial in great curves over 70 mph, sharp sliders over 80 mph, and fastballs over 90 mph.” — John Savage, head baseball coach, UCLA

It’s really about that 3-wheel design. Not only can coaches make simple adjustments to the pivoting head to  deliver fastballs, right-handed or left-handed curves, sliders, or split-finger fastballs, the hitter can clearly see the ball throughout the feeding motion. Also great for fungo work, ground ball practice and catcher’s pop-ups.

Click to watch a demonstration video “The Hack Attack Pitching Machine … and also check out our feature project below.

Watch Demo Video
Hack Attack Baseball Pitching Machine
Hack Attack Baseball Pitching Machine
$2,195.00 – $3,295.00
View Product
Hack Attack Softball Pitching Machine
Hack Attack Softball Pitching Machine
$2,195.00 – $3,295.00
View Product
"e-Hack Attack" Pitching Machines
“e-Hack Attack” Pitching Machines
$8,995.00
View Product

FEATURED PROJECT

WINNEQUAH PARK  |  Monona, WI
For real safety, they needed more.
Beacon Defender Series Barrier Net Systems — See that little net just above the trees? Yeah, that wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough. Errant foul balls were entering the pool area from the baseball and softball fields at Winnequah Park and that was posing a real safety hazard. Our Beacon Defender Series Barrier Net System was perfect for protecting patrons of the community pool… (click to continue reading about this featured project)
View Project Details

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

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www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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Sports Park Aims to Reach Completion in May of 2019 !

Panama City Beach, Fla. – The new Panama City Beach sports park construction is in full swing and the Tourist Development Council says they are about 60 percent done with the earthwork. Recently, dirt was brought into the area due to the rainy weather in an effort to dry things up. 

TDC members expect to reach completion around May of 2019 and their first tournament will kick off in June. The park will have fourteen rectangular fields and an indoor sports complex. Catie Feeney with the TDC said the project costs around 35 million dollars. They expect the final results to be worth the efforts. 

“The reason that we wanted the sports complex was so that we could bring business to the area throughout the entire year, whether its rain or shine, hot or cold, we can have sports teams out there and have heads in beds.,” said Catie Feeney, Tourist Development Council Public Relations Manager. 

The park will not just benefit visitors, the entire project will create several hundred jobs. 

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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BEACON Athletics Weekly Updates / And Deals ! (Sept.)

Don’t dread indoor practice, instead use workouts that are

Enjoyable and Productive.

We have some drills designed for indoor practice.
As a young high school baseball player, I used to dread indoor baseball practice. I would have rather been playing baseball outside in the Wisconsin winter instead of being stuck in the gym. Indoor baseball practices meant waiting in line to hit 15 balls, only about half of which were actually hittable. Because of strict rules stating that players could not attend practices ran by the actual coaches during the off season, we were generally stuck with parents volunteering their time. A few of these volunteers might have mistaken themselves for our coaches, but that’s neither here nor there – most of these “Indoor Workouts” were really an “Indoor Waste Of Time.”

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that these indoor workouts became enjoyable and productive. Word eventually got out between players that our winter workouts were no longer just a waste of time and suddenly our participation numbers grew! The reason for all of this was because one former player who played at the collegiate level volunteered to run our indoor baseball practice. His productive & exciting drills that actually worked with limited space. We’ve outlined a few indoor drills…

Click to view Brent Schroeder’s suggestions in the “Indoor Baseball Practice – Beginner Drills … and check out these product specials below.

G Tee Adjustable Tee
Reg. $119-$129 — NOW ONLY $105-$115  SAVE $14!


Typically ships within 3–5 business days. Designed to professional standards for baseball and softball. The stainless steel and aluminum telescoping upright is adjustable and connects to a 12″x 12″ base. The G Tee is easily portable, assembles or disassembles in seconds. Built-in weight post on base holds an optional ten pound weight plate for added stability.

View Product
Mound Yeti 2 Pitching Machine
Reg. $1,459 — NOW ONLY $1,165  SAVE $295!


Typically ships within 5-7 business days. Designed for all skill levels — softball and baseball. Pitch speeds ranging from 30-100 mph. With a quick adjustment, this machine can throw left-handed breaking balls, right handed breaking ball, fastballs, sliders, even knuckleballs.

View Product
Mound Yeti Pitching Machine
Reg. $649 — NOW ONLY $445  SAVE $204!


Typically ships within 5-7 business days. Perfect for young players. This economical pitching machine option is good for baseball or softball with adjustable speeds between 30-60 mph.

View Product
O P E N   B O X   I T E M   O F   T H E    W E E K

Wheel Wand Painter
Reg. $49 — NOW ONLY $30  SAVE $19!


Great Deal!  Gives you easy upright marking with good control. Holds one can of aerosol paint. Like-new condition.

View Open Box Product

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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Tiger Stadium to Feature Great New Food Additions !

There is an old commercial that had something about “food, glorious food.”

LSU Concessions has all that “food, glorious food” and more this year at venues throughout Tiger Stadium.

Now the old favorites have not gone away. Oh no, your peanuts and popcorn and hot dogs etc., are still there and ready for you, but there are going to be some interesting items that will be for your enjoyment and Larry Wallace, director of LSU Concessions, sent me a list of some of these new samplings.

The newest addition is “The Chute”, which will be unveiled on Saturday when the Tigers take on Southeastern at 6 p.m. The Chute will be open to any fan 21-years of age or older with a game ticket. It is located on the south side of Tiger Stadium and will allow fans to purchase beer and food with a giant-screen HD video board and numerous HD televisions.

Admission to The Chute is $20 a person and includes two beverages. Food service will be provided by Burgersmith which will have their Smith burger for purchase along with alligator sausage po’boys and fried okra. There will also be Papa John’s Pizza available in the area as well.

Burgersmith will also be available in the South lower area of the stadium.

On the Westside of Tiger Stadium, look for the new “Kitch Concept” area which will feature a full grab and go shopping area, similar to what you have seen often in airports, offering vegan options, Big Squeezy Juices and an abundance of other offerings, including fresh acai bowls. Big Squeezy will also be selling their offerings in the lower South area.

In the South upper area, the cooks will be working with the fryers available in that area sell fresh fried seafood baskets and chicken tender baskets. Firehouse Subs will be available in the South, East and West sections of the stadium with Italian subs, turkey subs and those fresh made fire house sub brownies.

Also in your search for the quintessential LSU concession items how about these – The new Tiger Tot Tower – a load of tator tots covered with Bar-B-Q pork, hot cheddar cheese and green onions. Then there is the newest thing to come to the West upper area – Spiral Pizza. Think pepperoni and cheese pizza served in a pizza-crust shaped cone.

What should be a nice line time-saver is that there will be 10 refill stations in the stadium allowing fans with a refill sticker on their souvenir cup to get their refill without going back to a concessions stand. Fans will also be allowed to purchase drinks in these areas.

There will be some concession favorites kicked up a notch this year including foot-long Coney Corndogs and Bayou Poppers made with fresh Kettle Corn. Along with the traditional sausage po-boy is the “swamp” sausage dog which is a traditional Manda Sausage po-boy covered in peppers and onions.

Finally, for a little dessert after tailgating before heading in to the stadium, how about the Beignet Box. This will be located outside across from gate 22. The Box will be making fresh beignets and coffee and there will be a seating area. And, if you miss the beignets outside, stands inside the stadium will offer beignets by the Beignet Box.

So there you have it. To paraphrase, its football, glorious LSU Football to go with food, glorious food. . . . . Enjoy the game !

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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BEACON Athletics Weekly Updates / And Deals ! (Aug.)

Things are slowing down, renovate your fields because

The time is now.

Beacon is your field projects resource.
We are “the Ultimate Ballfield Resource”, but many forget that means field projects, too. Check out our three-part series on our blog at Ballfields.com for getting your fall renovation projects rolling. If you have bigger plans for your ballfields, contact our Project Services Group. We’re here to help you make your dream project a reality. See the Featured Project at the bottom of this email for a great example of how to exceed your expectations. On your way, checkout these featured products, but don’t wait, the sale ends tomorrow!
Deluxe Overseed Enhancing Tool
Reg. $99, NOW ONLY $89  SAVE $10!


LAST CHANCE! Sale ends tomorrow! Features steel star wheels to penetrate any compacted soil. Sometimes referred to as a star spiker, spiked roller, or overseeder, this soil tool is perfect for overseeding wear areas on your field. Simply throw seed into wear area and maneuver tool several times over seeded area. Excellent seed-to-soil contact, critical for successful germination. 

View Product
Beacon Level Board
Reg. $149, NOW ONLY $135  SAVE $14!


LAST CHANCE! Sale ends tomorrow! The relief angle on the backside of the cutting edge allows the board to easily float for filling. When you need to cut, just pull the angle forward to allow the stainless steel edge to dig down and cut the high spot down. At 54″ wide the extra-wide design lets you cover a much greater area, making leveling more efficient. It’s the best fine hand-grading and leveling tool available for groundskeepers.

View Product

FEATURED PROJECT

SUNSET PARK  |  Kimberly, WI
The transformation was stunning.
Beacon Defender Series In-Line Backstop — Just a better, safer experience. With a planned renovation of the high school baseball complex at Sunset Park in Kimberly, Wisconsin, facility planners were looking for a backstop solution to work with their block wall. The new wall would serve as the base of the backstop, but they really wanted something to enhance the viewing experience for spectators over the old chainlink solution they had previously. Not only a solution to give them a better view of the game, but one that would provide fans with a safer environment as well. So it needed to be functional, but they also wanted it look good. The Beacon Defender Series In-Line Backstop checked all the boxes. The clean lines of… (click to continue readingabout this feature project)
See Details of this Featured Project
VIEW PRODUCT
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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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Parents want lower fees to watch kids play soccer at Eastside Sports Complex !

Parents want lower fees to watch kids play soccer at Eastside Sports Complex . . . . . . . . . .

As children get ready to hit the soccer fields this season, parents are asking the city of El Paso to lower the fees they have to pay to watch their kids.

The city is imposing a per-person entrance fee for the newly opened Eastside Sports Complex.”I think it’s going to be very difficult for a lot parents in this community,” said youth soccer coach Jimmy Ryan.

The fee is $5 per adult and $2 per child, and parents said it adds up.

“We were very surprised last week, when the Parks and Recreation Department emailed us and told us that fee would be a per-person entry fee,” said youth soccer parent and coach Daniel Vasquez. “It was very shocking for us to hear that the fee was going to be that high.”

District 5 City Rep. Michiel Noe said the fee is needed.

“These are fields that we made special and they are very special, and we’re going to make sure that they’re maintained in the quality that they deserve to be maintained,” he said.

A spokesperson for the city of El Paso told KFOX14 the Westside Sports Complex does not charge an entrance fee.

But, they said, since the new complex on the east side has enhanced fields and dedicated staff, it needs to have a revenue stream for that upkeep.

Parents said they are not opposed to paying a fee, but they want it to be reasonable.

“I’ve been to some of the best complexes in the country — Reach 11 in Phoenix, the Disney complex in Florida — and you don’t pay an entry fee per person. You do pay for parking, but not per person,” said Ryan. “But I think charging it as a per-person basis and the amount they want to charge per person is way off base.”

Noe said the parks department is looking into the fees and what options may be available.

Those will be presented to the City Council within the next month.

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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A $5 beer at the game ? More sports teams are slashing prices on concession items !

Chiefs fans who made the trek to Atlanta for Friday’s preseason game got a couple of surprises.

First, there was Patrick Mahomes’ 69-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill. And second, the Falcons offer some of the cheapest concession-stand prices in the NFL.

The Falcons moved into Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the 2017 season and lowered food and beverage prices by 50 percent, ESPN reported. The result? Fans spent 16 percent more money.

Falcons president Rich McKay told the Washington Post that by halftime of last year’s games, the volume of concessions sales matched full-game sales from the 2016 season.

“That meant fans got in better,” McKay told the Post. “That meant security experience was better. They participated in retail. They had something to eat. The overall fan experience really improved.”

Some of the concessions prices at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: $2 for hotdogs, pretzels, popcorn, a bottle of water and regular-sized Coca-Colas. A slice of pizza or nachos cost $3. A 12-ounce Bud Light or a cheeseburger was $5.

Like any good sports trend, other teams are following suit.

The Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Hawks and the University of Texas and Mississippi State football teams have or are reducing prices on food and drinks.

On Thursday, the Rose Bowl is expected to announce cheaper prices for hotdogs, soft drinks and nachos for UCLA football games, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Mississippi State slashed prices on hotdogs, nachos and soft pretzels from $5 to $2, while the cost of a 20-ounce bottle of water was cut in half to $2.

“I believe this new comprehensive plan for concessions is a key element to increasing value for our fans,” Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum said on the athletic department’s website. “High quality refreshments, more sensible pricing, faster service and new policies that address items of input from our fan base are a winning combination for a better game day experience.”

A better fan experience is the common theme for teams with cheaper concessions.

Starting this year, the Orioles offered small, medium and large sizes for soft drinks and beer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. There also were small and large sizes for french fries and popcorn.

Additionally, kid-sized hotdogs and sodas ($1.50 each) are at concession stands around the stadium instead of just one site.

“The fan experience at Camden Yards is defined by our commitment to fan choice, diversity of local food offerings, and family-focused sizing and pricing,” Orioles executive vice president John Angelos said in a statement, per masnsports.com.

The Lions are reducing the cost of an adult beverage. The Detroit News reported that $5 beer will be available in specific locations. The Lions also will offer a hotdog, chips and soda combo for $10 or a hotdog, chips and a beer for $12.

A $5 beer also will be available to Atlanta Hawks fans, who will find 11 other concession items that are $4 or cheaper.

Texas dropped the price of 10 food or drinks, including sodas, water, popcorn, candy and hot dogs, at its football games.

“We’re asking fans to spend their discretionary income to support our programs and attend our events, so reducing prices on concessions, providing entertainment, making it an event, that’s all a big part of our efforts to get fans to campus and into the stadium,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte told the Post.

“It’s all about making our campus the place to be on game day and to create the best atmosphere in the country.”

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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Multi-purpose 250-acre sports complex planned for Clermont area !

Complex will be ‘unlike anything the state

has ever seen,’ city leaders say !

CLERMONT, Fla.Developers of the proposed Olympus sports complex told Clermont city leaders Tuesday that the project could lead to more than $1 billion in economic impact.

City leaders got their first chance to look at plans to develop 250 acres in south Lake County, along Route 27 near Lake Louisa State Park. The land is currently an undeveloped orange grove.

The city’s economic development director, Shannon Schmidt, has been working with developers on the proposed Olympus sports complex for nearly two years.

“This city has not seen a development of this size or significance,” Schmidt said. “Olympus will become almost a city of its own with the amount of activity slated to be happening there.”

The recently unveiled private development would feature a tennis complex, aquatic center, several hotels, restaurants, health care facilities and other sports training facilities.

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“The city is already known as an Olympic sports training destination,” Schmidt said. “This will further complement it with an array of opportunities for amateurs, collegiate athletes, Olympic athletes and professionals.” 

Developers said the complex will create nearly 6,000 jobs and pump more than $1.4 billion worth of economic impact into the community over 10 years.

City leaders expect the developers to submit a proposal for annexation, as well as rezoning of the property and a large scale comprehension plan amendment, in September. Public hearings would then take place in October through the planning and zoning commission and city council.

The five-phase project is expected to get underway in 2019 and be finished by 2025.

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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BEACON Athletics Weekly Updates / And Deals ! (Aug.)

August 21, 2018       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com
Take a look at our Monthly Specials for August!

THIS WEEK’S FIELD THOUGHTS

It’s August and daylight is on the wane. The sun is coming up later and setting earlier. We are beginning to see a cool night make an appearance on occasion. And many baseball and softball seasons have wrapped up for the year. There will be some fall ball seasons played but football season will take the lead by the end of the month. That means many ball fields are done for the season so it’s time to get to it and get those fields ready for next spring.

Previously we talked about getting the grass back into shape after the season as well as dealing with any lip issues that may have developed during the season. Now, we move to the infield skin itself. This time of year is the best time to do any renovation on the infield skin whether it is minor or major. You have plenty of time to work on it without the threat of an opening day deadline and still plenty of favorable weather and soil moisture conditions.

A season can take a toll on an infield resulting in ragged turf edges and high and low spots in the infield skin. Reestablish your turf edges by running string lines and…. Click to continue reading about renovating your infield skin from Beacon’s head groundskeeper, Paul Zwaska:  Post-Season Renovation Part 2: The Infield Skin

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles andGroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Pro Cord String Winder
SAVE $4

In stock! Typically ships the next business day. Straight field lines can be a real challenge — unless you’re using our Pro Cord String Winder. It’s strong, but still stretchy enough to really snap a straight line. The 500 ft of high-strength, braided cotton string line is thicker (see comparison photo) for higher visibility and will stretch, meaning you can pull your line extremely tight and when you “snap” the cord, you get the straightest line as possible. (Discount thru Friday, August 31 applied automatically)

Beacon Level Board
SAVE $14

In stock! Typically ships the next business day. Your best option for hand-grading or leveling an entire infield or fixing issues around the bases, player positions, home plate, and pitcher’s mound. Stainless steel cutting edge, reinforced aluminum handle. (Discount thru Friday, August 31 applied automatically)

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — Wheel Wand Painter — SAVE $19!  Gives you easy upright marking with good control. Holds one can of aerosol paint. Like-new condition. (Reg. $49) NOW ONLY $30

FEATURED PROJECT

In-Line Backstop Netting, Sunset Park, Kimberly, WI.
With a planned renovation of the high school baseball complex at Sunset Park in Kimberly, Wisconsin, facility planners were looking for a backstop solution to work with their block wall. The new wall would serve as the base of the backstop, but they really wanted something to enhance the viewing experience for spectators over the old chainlink solution they had previously… click to learn more about this project.

View Project

By Groundskeepers, For Groundskeepers.

The time and effort necessary to train new staff each year can become overwhelming, and that’s exactly why we developed Groundskeeper U. GU is the perfect online tool for teaching new staff, summer help, and volunteers. Through videos, photos, audio, and written material your staff will learn the right way with the tried and true practices taught by Paul Zwaska.

Enjoy this by-groundskeepers-for-groundskeepers resource and, when you find a lesson or technique you know others will benefit from, be sure to share it on social media and with your colleagues!

Visit Groundskeeper University

Find what you need, it’s all here.

If you there’s something your field needs, you’ll find it in our catalog. Request your copy of The Ultimate Ballfield Resource. Our catalog features a complete listing of products to keep you rolling with everything you need all season long. This is your go-to must-have resource.

Request a Catalog

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SODA Logo “Proudly Serving The USA/Canada Since 1981”

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Youth sports will be primary goal for new Hamilton sports complex, developer says !

In fact, it’s a bigger deal, from Spooky Nook Sports’ perspective, for organizations like Hamilton’s championship-winning West Side Little League to participate, because the facility’s primary focus is youth sports.

Spooky Nook Sports, which hopes to break ground on the proposed Spooky Nook at Champion Mill in Hamilton next month, had been talking with FC Cincinnati about such a relationship last year, and had let the team use its existing gigantic sports training and playing complex near Lancaster during 2016 while the team had games nearby.

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Spooky Nook owner Sam Beiler said it is local and regional youth sports teams — some teams travel from as far as a 3.5-hour drive to the existing Spooky Nook facility near Lancaster, Pa., for tournaments — that drive the country’s largest indoor sports facility’s success.

“We think it would have been exciting,” Beiler said. “But the primary goal of this project is youth sports development and economic impact. And so we feel like we’re right on target. There would have been a lot of sizzle for that, but the steak is in youth sports.”

The Hamilton complex, like its Pennsylvania counterpart, will be able to provide activities like winter softball for youth and adults, as well as volleyball, basketball, and a large variety of other sports. Training and workout facilities also are planned, including classes for local people wanting fitness options.

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Youth sports also are what bring in 10,000 to 20,000 athletes and their families to Lancaster many weekends.

That’s the economic driver,” Beiler said. “When you have the youth tournaments, and they come in by family or by team, that’s where the economic impact happens. There’s nominal economic impact from a professional or semi-professional team. They just don’t – there’s not enough. The costs are too high to manage that.”

Spooky Nook earlier this year presented its first youth softball tournament in Butler County, as a way to introduce itself to the community. For years, Spooky Nook employees have been talking with teams, leagues and sports associations in this region to build relationships that could lead to those groups working out and playing at Spooky Nook.

“We’ve had dozens and dozens of conversations with youth sports organizations,” Beiler said. “West Side Little League is an example. Their input helped us design our baseball area. We expect they’d be heavy users.”

The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team also has its training facilities at Spooky Nook’s Pennsylvania complex.

“We would be interested in that, but I don’t think we have landed on a partner at this point, although there are several conversations underway that would lead to a recognizable organization being a part of that,” Beiler told the Journal-News.

“That’s not critical to our model, so it would have to be a good fit, for us and the other organization. USA Field Hockey back in Pennsylvania, it’s a great relationship. I believe they have a top-notch facility for practice and play. But the largest part of our field hockey program there is with the youth players,” he said.

“So even if there was someone like that out here, it’s at the youth level that we are most engaged. The professional sports…. We have excellent sports training, but most of our focus is on youth sports,” Beiler said.

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