The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Multi-million dollar sports complex approved by Virginia Beach Council !

It was an 8 to 2 vote that carried the $68 million project forward.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — On Tuesday, the Virginia Beach City Council approved the multi-million dollar sports center proposed at the oceanfront.

It was an 8 to 2 vote that carried the $68 million project forward. Councilman John Moss and Councilwoman Jessica Abbott voted against. Moss said he didn’t think the sports center is a priority for the city, but flood plans should be.

Dozens spoke during a public comment period. Many told council they supported the plans.

“The proposed addition of the sports complex is in perfectly in line with the city’s objectives,” said one man with Virginia Beach VISION.

“The RAC believes this project will be a unique, progressive enhancement to our oceanfront and assist in bringing more families and sports-related tourism in the resort seasons and the shoulder seasons,” said a representative from the Resort Advisory Committee.

Those against were just as passionate. They were unhappy about the cost because the project went from $40 million to $68 million after the plans showed an added indoor track and parking.

“On the surface, it sounds like a great deal but this seems like an awful lot of money and an awful lot of chances to be taking,” said a Virginia Beach resident.

“I don’t want anything in here that’s going to raise the taxes anymore,” said a woman who lives in Virginia Beach.

There were some like David Nygaard, a Virginia Beach resident who is also running for city council.

He said the sports arena, in the big picture, is great for the city and tourism, although he is concerned about the price jump. But, thinks there should be more to this discussion.

“We do have some serious issues at the oceanfront in terms of safety, shootings, other issues. I mentioned the human trafficking issue and I think we need to apply resources to that and when we do big projects, I think public safety needs to be part of the conversation,” said Nygaard.

With the plans now passed, the site is expected to start being cleared next month so the project can get underway.

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Beacons Field Tips For This Week ! (July)

July 9, 2018       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com
Check out our Monthly Specials for July!

THIS WEEK’S FIELD THOUGHTS

It’s that time of year when summer break is in full swing. Even as all the young folks are getting some rest and relaxation, the maintenance and athletic staff is in preparation mode for all the fall sports. One of the main pieces of equipment researched this time of year is soccer goals. When doing your research, it is important to remember the safety aspects of the sport and what to look for. Two areas to consider with safety in mind are having the proper anchors and net attachments for your anchors. Anchoring of any soccer goal is critical for the overall safety of all users. Without anchors in place… Click to continue reading about soccer goals safety:  “Safety in the Soccer World”

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

Kwik Goal Evolution® Soccer Goals
FREE SHIPPING!!

Typically ships within 10–15 business days. This best-selling soccer goal meets all NCAA and NFSH specs. The Evolution 1.1 has 4′ x 5′ elliptical posts and crossbar; the Evolution 2.1 has 4-3/8″ round posts and crossbar. (Free shipping applied automatically)

Kwik Goal Fusion® Soccer Goals
FREE SHIPPING!!

Typically ships within 10–15 business days. Entire frame 4″ round powder-coated posts. Meets NCAA and NFHS specs. All aluminum construction includes: 3mm 3-1/2″ mesh white net, Kwik Lock® Net System, and net support straps. (Free shipping applied automatically)

Kwik Goal European Club Series Soccer Goals
FREE SHIPPING!!

Typically ships within 10–15 business days. White powder coated 3″OD round posts and crossbar. White net included. (Free shipping applied automatically)

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — Smart Striper  — SAVE $35!  – Sturdy metal construction, steady four-wheel design. Easily swap cans when you need to. Cart holds one case of paint. Barely-used condition. (Reg. $125) NOW ONLY $90 

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.

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


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Portland parks introduce Lightning Alert System !

The City of Portland, OR. has recently installed a Lightning Alert System at its Municipal Park and Sports Complex. 

Portland’s Sports Director, Matt Rogers, says “it’s only been in recent weeks that the siren system has been activated. And through communicating with our public here in Portland, we hope that everyone in Portland is on board and will know what to expect in the event of a near lightning strike.”

This is how the alert system works: If there is lightning within a 10 mile radius, the alarm will sound off for 15 seconds. The alarm alerts people to seek shelter and clear the parks.

The City of Portland says:

  • Stop all activities and clear the park and athletic fields, and seek shelter immediately. Weather experts recommend “a sturdy, enclosed building or a car is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.”
  • If you shelter in a car during a storm, you should avoid touching metallic areas that can conduct electricity. 
  • Avoid metal pipes and materials, including the splash pads and play equipment.
  • Never seek shelter underneath a tree.

When it is safe to return to the park, people will hear three 5-second blasts from the alert system, which is typically 30 minutes after the first alarm. 

The Lightning Alert System will be active between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. when the parks are most active. 

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
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City Set to Open Eastside Sports Complex !

The City of El Paso, TX –  Invites to the public to the grand opening celebration of the first phase of the newly constructed Eastside Sport Complex.

The event will feature free food, music, entertainment and recreational sports tournaments.

The complex also includes new ADA compliant restrooms, parking, and sidewalks, as well as a sheltered area with picnic tables and benches, which will allow food trucks to serve visitors and spectators during competitions or events.

To allow for the park’s upkeep the project included the construction of a new storage and maintenance facility.

Officials with the city share, “The Eastside Sports Complex is funded by the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds, and is part of the City of El Paso’s commitment to enhance El Paso’s quality of life through recreational, cultural, and educational environments.”

The first phase of the complex focused on the development 42.2 acres of land, which includes the following services and amenities:

  • 7 sodded irrigated competition flat fields, and 1 championship style field
  • Shaded seating to accommodate 500 spectators
  • Fencing to maintain control access
  • A new hike and bike trail along the perimeter of the park

WHAT:         Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

WHEN:           7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 12

WHERE:         Eastside Sports Complex, 14380 Montwood (Intersection of Montwood & John Hayes)

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
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Amateur Update: Fastpitch softball complex is near completion !

Drone - RYFSA Complex

Rochester, MN. – The Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association complex in southeast Rochester is nearly done with several improvements.As you drive east out of Rochester on Highway 14, you probably have noticed improvements being made to the new fast pitch softball complex.Over the past several months, numerous enhancements have been made to help develop the complex into a fully functional option for local teams and tournaments.

A partnership between RCTC (which is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system — MNSCU), the Rochester Parks & Recreation Department and the Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association (RYFSA) has moved the project forward and it now nears completion.

A major component of the project was the addition of a building that consists of a concession stand, bathrooms, storage and an umpire/hospitality room.

Not only will the concession stand provide much-needed beverage options for hot summer days and snacks for players/fans, but it will also allow RYFSA to create fundraising dollars from these sales.

Why is that important? In order to assure the facility was built with important amenities, the RYFSA contributed $250,000 of their own money (to be paid at $25K over the next 10 years).

That’s a lot of hot dogs and soda sales!

In addition to the building, the facility’s fields all now have covered dugouts, electronic scoreboards with proper fencing to increase safety, and a new championship field, giving the complex six fields total. A small future “novice” field is also being added to give 8U and 10U players a field to learn and develop their skills.

MNSCU owns the land the new softball complex is built on, just as it owns the land on which the Fuad Mansour Soccer Complex, Rochester Youth Baseball Complex, and Rochester Youth Football Fields are located.

The city of Rochester and local sports associations use the complexes through agreements with MNSCU. This new softball complex will also now be the home of the RCTC Yellowjackets softball team.

The Parks Department provides control of the facility as well as maintenance. The Parks Department also oversaw the project and the disbursement of the sales tax dollars that went into this work completed.

The new complex immediately began paying dividends.

RYFSA coordinated the creation of the Southeast Fastpitch Conference. This league consists of 133 regional teams from 36 surrounding community’s teams who will combine to play approximately 1,500 games this summer.

Twenty-six of those teams are from the Rochester program, which has 425 youth participating. Nationwide, USA Softball continues to grow in strength and numbers with more than 150,000 teams now playing.

As this new facility is completed, look for more successes with additional users. Youth tournaments are already finding the facility attractive with local high schools and even some colleges viewing it now as a potential location for regional games and/or tournaments.

This combined effort in completing this complex by RCTC/MNSCU, the Parks Department and RYFSA has delivered a complex to the Rochester community that will benefit our youth and the city now and for years to come.

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
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YOUTH FOOTBALL, DOWNTOWN SPOKANE STADIUM IN SPOTLIGHT AMID CONCERNS ABOUT HEAD INJURIES !

The thrill of Friday night lights illuminating the downtown Spokane skyline has City Hall, the school district and other boosters planning a pitch for taxpayer funds to make that dream a reality.

Meanwhile, researchers are feverishly working to understand the dangers of youth football on developing brains, manufacturers have improved equipment, and coaches have tweaked the rules and reduced contact on the practice field.

Yet the hits keep coming, some of them close to home.

Last week it was the revelation that Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, when he committed suicide in Pullman on Jan. 16. Modern science is limited in understanding brain disorders, including CTE, say experts, who continue to consult with athletes and parents about a sport that has seen a decline in participation amid growing concern about the unknowns.

After peaking in 2009, participation in high school football dropped by 48,000 (or 4 percent overall) by 2016, the last year for which data is available from the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Last fall at Lewis and Clark High School, head coach Dave Hughes saw fewer than 100 don pads for the Tigers’ varsity, JV and freshman teams.

“Five years ago that would have been 150,” Hughes said.

Overall, participation at the five Greater Spokane League schools is down 8.8 percent during the past three years.

Other school districts have seen numbers hold steady, however. Ten years ago, Central Valley and University high schools saw 256 students turn out for football; last year it was 253.

Moreover, those national numbers equate to an annual decline of just 0.3 percent – hardly enough to worry fans and coaches.

“The game of football is definitely being heavily scrutinized from many different angles and perspectives,” said Ferris coach Tom Yearout.

“I’m hopeful for the future of the game, but the No. 1 thing we need to do is keep the game safe for the kids,” Yearout said.

Hughes had another theory for the decline in participation: the rise of youth football.

“Ten years ago they were just starting football leagues,” Hughes said. “Back then a lot of freshmen would come out for football, and it was their first exposure to the game. Many would decide that football isn’t for me.”

Nowadays, those decisions come as early as fifth grade, as youngsters steer away from the game at an earlier age.

Parents also are steering them away from the game. Last year, the Spokane Youth Sports Association dropped tackle football but kept flag football.

“Because of health reasons, a lot of parents say that no matter what, ‘I’m going to keep my kid in flag,’ ” said D.J. Smith, president of Spokane Pop Warner.

The organization is doing everything to keep the tackle game as safe as possible, Smith said, including steps such as introducing a concussion policy and banning the type of full-speed, head-on blocking or tackling drills that expose players to contact in practices.

. . . . . . . . How many hits ?

Limiting contact is key while researchers continue to study the effect of repeated hits on developing brains, experts say.

“The general, overarching thing is it’s probably better to have fewer head traumas,” said Ryan Baker, a board-certified pediatric sports medicine physician at Shriners Hospital in Spokane. “We just don’t know what that volume is, and at what age, and what is too much.”

The evidence linking repeated head trauma in youth football to future health problems is growing, however, with much of it coming from the Boston University medical school’s research center devoted to the study of CTE. Researchers there published a paper in April that examined the brains of 211 football players after death and determined playing football before the age of 12 “had an earlier onset of cognitive, behavior and mood symptoms by an average of 13 years.”

Such research always contains the caveat that study groups are limited to families who agree to donate brain tissue to medical study. The findings of the study were also based on telephone interviews with family members on when symptoms of cognitive issues began to appear.

Still, there’s enough research to suggest coaches should look at limiting players’ amount of time on the field in tackle football, especially at younger ages when athletes might play offense, defense and special teams if they’re particularly gifted, said Heidi Peterson, a licensed athletic trainer at the MultiCare Rockwood Sports Medicine Center who’s worked with athletes for 40 years.

“We need to almost make it time-based, kind of like a pitch count for pitchers,” Peterson said. “We protect high school players with pitch counts, but we don’t protect football players from their timed exposure.

“If you’re in Pop Warner, and you’re the best player on the team, are you going to be on the field for the whole game? Yeah,” she continued. “The coach isn’t going to take out his best player on the team.”

Smith said the changes imposed by the league, which includes a reduction of contact time in practice and eliminating kickoffs, make Pop Warner football “safer today than at any point in our history.”

Football’s future downtown?

Changes also are being made at the region’s high schools, whose athletes would be taking the new downtown field should school officials and voters approve.

Across the Greater Spokane League, coaches are emphasizing tackling forms that “try to keep the head out of the tackling – we would never want to lead with the head,” Hughes said.

Equipment has never been better, said Hughes, who noted that all helmets are top grade and recertified each year by manufacturer Riddell.

In the event of a concussion, Spokane Public Schools mandates that any player who has been removed from play may not return until evaluated by a licensed health care provider or certified athletic trainer.

Coaches also must be certified annually in head injury and concussion management through an online program developed by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and the University of Washington medicine center for sports technology.

The WIAA also mandates that teams hold full-contact practices only two days a week.

“We talk about these things so much at parent meetings, so everyone is aware of it,” Hughes said.

Both Baker and Peterson said the public shouldn’t be so cautious about football that they doom athletic competition and physical activity. Sports other than football could be played on the new field, even if youth football continues its decline.

“The biggest health problem that we’re having as a nation is obesity and cardiovascular disease,” Baker said. “If we are too cautious with sports in general, not just football, but sports in general, what would that do to our population’s health?”

Still, Peterson said, while there are positives to a downtown stadium that includes better access to medical services and a higher-quality playing surface, the public will have to weigh those benefits with the knowledge that the violence of the game has been linked with debilitating disorders.

“At this point in my career, with as much as I love football and have enjoyed working football over the years, it would take some really serious consideration to allow my child to play football at any age,” Peterson said. “I definitely wouldn’t allow them to play before age 14.”

City Council President Ben Stuckart said he hadn’t considered the issue of CTE as it relates to the downtown stadium project, though he said it was a trend that needed to be taken seriously. The school district is also considering renovating Joe Albi Stadium in northwest Spokane, though officials note the facility is in bad need of repairs and the land might be better used for a new middle school.

“You’re going to have a football stadium, whether it’s a renovated (Joe) Albi (Stadium) or a downtown facility,” Stuckart pointed out.

The new downtown stadium would be operated by the Public Facilities District, which also operates Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Stephanie Curran, chief executive officer of the organization, wrote in an email Friday that decisions about player safety would be up to the school district.

“We (the PFD) will defer to the school board as they are the experts on school sports,” Curran wrote. “The stadium would be built and owned by the school district and we would just operate the events for them as we do in our other venues. We don’t have any expertise on anything related to students or school sports.”

The city has been working on pitching the downtown stadium along with the school district to taxpayers this November in conjunction with plans to expand Spokane’s library system. Concerns so far have centered mostly on parking and student safety upon leaving the game, not the hits on the field.

That’s probably appropriate right now, said Baker, the pediatrician at Shriners. There’s just not enough scientific understanding to doom the project based on concern about head injuries alone.

“Will football always be there? I don’t know,” he said. “I presume so, but who knows ?”

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
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ErieBank Sports Park progressing toward Sept. 1 opening !

Build-up of long-awaited two-pad ice rink continues

at Summit Township sports complex.

Erie, PA. – Summer is here, and sand has begun to make its way into ErieBank Sports Park’s main indoor facility.

That means only one thing — the long-awaited, two-pad ice rink at the Summit Township sports complex appears nearly complete.

“As soon as the sand is installed and the pipes that are outside (are installed) … we’ll start installing the boards right off the bat and get the ice started up, and we’ll have ice by Sept. 1,” said Louis Lombardo, regional manager of Rink Management Services Corp., an ice rink and sports facility management company based in Mechanicsville, Virginia, that’s overseeing the project.

Local hockey and figure skating organizations already have agreed to purchase ice time at the facility for the 2018-19 season, which Lombardo said is projected to begin Sept. 10. Even the Erie Otters have forged a partnership with Greater Regional Erie Athletic Team Training, a nonprofit organization led by local attorney and youth hockey coach Bob Catalde, that purchased the former Family First Sports Park last December. Lombardo said the Ontario Hockey League club has sponsored one of the two rinks.

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


www.sadlersports.com/soda

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