Tourism board approves new Sports Park operations agreement

The Elizabethtown Sports Park operations agreement between the Elizabethtown city government and the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau is one step closer to completion.

The tourism board approved the agreement during a brief meeting Friday morning. Director Sherry Murphy said the agreement will go before Elizabethtown City Council for a vote Sept. 10.

“The operations agreement outlines the responsibilities of the (Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau) and the city so that both parties completely understand their roles moving forward. Some specific topics covered utilities, cleaning and maintenance responsibilities, proper reporting to the city on a regular basis, insurance coverage, indemnification for the city, etc.,” she said.

Murphy said the tourism board sees no areas of concern.

“Both the city and tourism understood the need to equip the future professional management company with the ability to recognize possible income sources,” she said.

The lease agreement for the Elizabethtown Sports Park between the two entities was approved Aug. 13. It will become effective and extend for a five-year term from the date a professional management company, as selected by the tourism bureau, takes occupancy of the park.

The lease agreement gave the board the ability to move forward with securing a third-party operator with experience managing sports venues. The target is to identify and select an operator for the 2019 sports season.

The 150-acre park has been operated by the city recreation department since its founding in 2012. It has experienced a financial deficit of more than $1 million annually.

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