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.