The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

City of Ruston, LA. hosts ribbon cutting for new sports complex !

Shreveport, LA – The City of Ruston invited the community to a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Ruston Sports Complex yesterday, May 3rd at 10:00am. The ceremony took place North of the T-ball parking lot.

The Ruston Sports Complex will include:

• 8 Youth Baseball Fields

 

• 3 T-Ball Fields

• 8 Girls Softball Fields

• 3 Adult Softball Fields

• 9 Tennis Courts

• 3 Soccer/Football Fields

 

• High School Baseball Field

• Cross County Course

• Walking Trails

• 6 Acre Lake

The Ruston Sports Complex is funded by the “Moving Ruston Forward” tax initiative and is projected to be complete by January of 2019.

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Ball Diamond Specials from BEACON Ballfields ! (May)

May 1, 2018       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com
Check out this week’s Anniversary Specials on bases!

THIS WEEK’S FIELD THOUGHTS

A well-maintained ballfield has a smooth surface, both on grass and skinned areas. But in contrast stand the bases, protruding up from the smooth surface. One wrong step, one improper slide, and injury can occur. It is up to the groundskeeper to minimize that risk.

Visit our Groundskeeper University module on bases to see how frequent base inspection and base care — along with proper maintenance to the playing surface surrounding the bases — goes a long way toward reducing the risk of player injury. This module is presented in two sections covering Safety & Base Care and On-field Maintenance & Placement. Like all Groundskeeper U lessons and modules, photo, video and audio aids help bring you up to speed.

Click to see the tips & techniques regarding bases and base care from former Orioles’ head groundskeeper and GU author, Paul Zwaska: 107. Base Placement & Care

Visit Ballfields.com frequently for tips & articles and GroundskeeperU.com for online training.

Schutt Home Plate w/ Solid Wood Core  SAVE $10

IN STOCK: Typically ships the next business day. A Beacon exclusive! We’ve put everything together – solid wood core, high quality Schutt rubber and at a great price. This wood core home plate is truly a great value. (Valid thru May 6, discount applied automatically)

Schutt Four-Sided Pitching Rubber  SAVE $10

Typically ships within 3–5 business days. Designed to be buried and rotated occasionally  for a longer lasting solution. This economical pitching rubber is constructed from rubber with PVC tube insert. (Valid for adult or youth model thru May 6, discount applied automatically)

Orange Cap Base Anchor Plug  Now only $5.25!

IN STOCK: Typically ships the next business day. Use on ground anchors when bases are not in use. Prevents dirt buildup around stake and inside sleeve. Sold as single plug. (Valid for Orange Cap anchor plug only thru May 6, discount applied automatically)

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — Bolco Firm Grip Plateau Pitching Rubber  — SAVE $10-$12!  – Tough vinyl pitching rubber with wood block filled core. Brand-new condition. NOW ONLY $30-39 (Reg. $42-49)

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 2018 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 !


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Jenks’ Titan Sports Complex Nearing Completion !

 

JENKS, Oklahoma – Monday, we got a sneak peek inside the 190,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor Titan Sports Complex in Jenks.

Construction began at 81st and Elwood nearly two years ago and now it’s within a few weeks of opening.

It has indoor and outdoor soccer fields, lacrosse fields, basketball and volleyball courts, plus a health club.

“Mom and dad can workout at the health club while their kids are practicing little kids can do their practicing while their siblings are playing out on the fields so we’ve really designed this as an all-encompassing family unit,” said Stan Liedel with Titan Sports Center.

The complex will also host tournaments for soccer, basketball and volleyball year-round.

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


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$50M Iowa sports complex nears completion !

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Work is nearly complete on a $50 million sports complex in eastern Iowa that includes soccer and baseball fields, hardwood courts and an entertainment center.

The new TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf sprawls across 76 acres, the Quad-City Times reported . It’s being developed by BettPlex LLC and its founder Doug Kratz.

The complex will open May 4 with a baseball tournament featuring more than 100 teams, said Kira Brabeck, marketing director for the complex. The bowling and entertainment center will open May 29, while the indoor sports complex and fitness center will open June 15.

 BettPlex officials and the Build to Suit construction team visited nearly a dozen other sports facilities to get ideas about what the complex should include, Brabeck said.

The complex will offer league activities for children and adults in baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, bowling and flag football.

The area also features arcade games, laser tag, concessions and a bar and grill.

“We wanted a way to keep families entertained and on site,” Brabeck said. “They never have to leave and be stressed out about missing their next game. It’s all here and it’s less stress for the families, which we wanted.”

Other development plans are also in progress that aims to bring new retail options, a gas station and a hotel to the area, said Mike Sampson, chief financial officer for the complex.

“This whole area is going to get developed,” Sampson said.

Complex officials expect the complex to draw more than 750,000 visitors annually.

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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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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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Crowding the plate: BBQ, high-end burgers and dogs among many food options at ONEOK Field !

Tulsa, OK – This is from the 1908 song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game:” Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.

This, 110 years later, could be something you hear at ONEOK Field: Should I get a loaded barbecue baked potato, a gourmet burger, a wet burrito or tabouli?

People expect choices when they come to a game, according to Cody Malone, the Tulsa Drillers’ director of food and beverage.

“That’s kind of the way the trend is going,” Malone said during an interview at ONEOK Field. “Yankee Stadium has a sushi restaurant in it and a steakhouse. We can’t do that here, but we can do Philly cheesesteaks. We can do barbecue. We can do high-end burgers and dogs. We can do good, quality food here in Tulsa. People want to come here, and they want to try new things. They don’t just want nachos and hot dogs and draft beer.”

You can still get the basics, of course. The Drillers sell more hot dogs (about a quarter of a million per year) than any other food item.

But the variety of concession items is such that it may take a season ticket holder all year long to get through them all, according to Malone.

“That, or they have got to be really good at eating,” he said.

Challenge accepted ?

A recent trek to ONEOK Field, 201 N. Elgin Ave., was intended to be a multi-item taste-testing expedition. But a bases loaded baked potato, topped with barbecue brisket, was such a big-boy meal that there wasn’t enough belly room left to try anything else (except maybe a few bites of ice cream served in a mini plastic batting helmet).

The mission of the expedition was revised. It became a scouting mission instead: Find things to try on the next visit, like souvenir barbecue nachos served in a batting helmet.

Malone said he and other staffers have fun coming up with new items. It’s their offseason sport.

“As food and beverage professionals, we go to food shows,” he said. “We go out to eat and try new ideas. And I’m a chef by trade so I go out and try anything I can. I spend my time going out and eating and drinking and finding new ideas or thinking of new ideas to bring back to the ballpark and try.”

He said they “practice” new hot dogs and burgers over the winter and have sessions where they “throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.” He was speaking in the figurative sense, of course.

New wrinkles at ONEOK Field include a Greenwood Smoke Shack concession and a House Divided concession with a diverse selection of gourmet dogs and burgers. If you’re feeling adventuresome, House Divided is where you can go to try something different, according to Malone.

ONEOK Field previously served barbecue and gourmet vittles in different locales, but Malone said the goal was to refocus on quality.

For instance:

“We already offered barbecue, and I have always been proud of our barbecue, but we wanted to make it more of a barbecue restaurant experience,” he said, adding that he thinks the barbecue at ONEOK Field rivals the barbecue served at many area restaurants.

“I’m not going to name names, but there are a lot of ballparks in this country that will buy their barbecue out of a tub and that’s not us.”

Malone said the Drillers make all their barbecue from scratch.

“We have a smoker we run 24 hours a day during homestands,” he said. “We will start it a day or two before a homestand and run it through the last day of a homestand just to keep up with demand.”

You can travel the country, or the globe, on your stomach at ONEOK Field. Santa Fe Burger. Sonoran Dog. A Mexican-themed concession cart (“Tulsans love their wet burritos.”) and Siegi’s sausage carts are probably the park’s most popular carts, according to Malone.

Not every innovation is a hit. Malone said they have tried some things that didn’t work, including gelato and an Asian food cart.

“It didn’t really take off the way we thought it was going to,” he said when talking about the Asian fare. “We gave it a couple of years and it didn’t quite work, but we are always willing to try something new.”

Malone’s goal is to make visitors want to eat at the park instead of eating somewhere else before games. And he wants to make sure there is something for everyone, including healthier options (a Farmer’s Market sells whole fruit, salads and wraps), gluten-free items and vegetarian-friendly food. He said he has given his cellphone number to visitors with special dietary needs so he can help them find what they need.

There’s an emphasis on Oklahoma.

“I’m an Okie,” Malone said. “I’m a proud Okie. Oklahoma has lots of great quality ingredients. We try to source as many of those as possible to make a good quality product here at ONEOK Field.”

The park was honored as a restaurant of the month by the Made In Oklahoma Coalition in 2015. Even funnel cakes are made from scratch with Oklahoma ingredients.

“We have a 60-quart mixer back there,” Malone said. “Most stadiums, they will buy a powdered funnel cake mix and just add water and go that route. We take the time and do it right with fresh eggs and Shawnee Mills flour. We do it our way.”

ONEOK Field also offers local craft beer. Said Malone: “Oklahoma has got great ingredients to make great products, and beer is one of them.”

Frito pie: Better in the bag !

Ball Diamond Specials from BEACON Ballfields ! (April)

Apr. 24, 2018       |       BeaconAthletics.com        |       Ballfields.com
Check out this week’s Anniversary Specials on tarps!

THIS WEEK’S FIELD THOUGHTS

With the baseball/softball season in full swing rain showers can become a regular factor for groundskeepers in many parts of the country. But, baseball field area tarps are used for more than just rain protection. In fact, the primary purpose of mound and home plate tarps is to manage moisture in the soil and clay beneath them. Tarps are put in place to keep moisture from evaporating from the mound and batter’s and catcher’s boxes. The more moisture you keep in your clay areas, the better they perform and the less wear you will experience in those areas. Protection from rainfall is actually a secondary benefit of tarping the mound and plate areas. But this is as equally important as holding moisture in. There are several different types of tarp materials available but this post really deals with the care and anchoring of these important groundskeeping tools.

Click to see the tips for your tarps from Beacon’s Paul Zwaska on Ballfields.comCaring for Baseball Tarps

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

8oz FieldShield STANDARD Hem Area Tarps  SAVE $16-$60

IN STOCK: Typically ships the next business day. Lighten up, but stay tough. These pitching mound covers and home plate tarps handle easy, but wear hard. Made in the USA and high quality. Includes spurred, rolled rim grommets every 3 to 4 ft. (Valid for the 8oz tarps only thru April 29, discount applied automatically)

8oz FieldShield WEIGHTED Hem Area Tarps   SAVE $20-$80

IN STOCK: Typically ships the next business day. Goodbye, sandbags. No need for bags, pins, or weights. Made in the USA, high-quality pitching mound covers and home plate tarps. (Valid for the 8oz tarps only thru April 29, discount applied automatically)

OPEN BOX ITEM OF THE WEEK

OPEN BOX Item — 29′ DIA 8oz FieldShield Home Plate Area Tarp, Weighted Hem  — SAVE $100!  – This 29′ home plate area tarp has been used and is a little dirty — but pretty much like it would be after your first use or so. It’s really a great value at $100 off. Slightly-used condition. Only ONE in stock… NOW ONLY $539 (Reg. $639)

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

This is the Catalog You Need.

If you there’s something your field needs, you’ll find it here. Request your copy of The Ultimate Ballfield Resource. Our new 2018 catalog is now available and it feature 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 !

SODA_AD_17
www.sadlersports.com/soda

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Guaranteed good eats: Sox Park offers new twists on classic ballpark food, most craft beer in the majors !

Joseph
Times business reporter Joseph Pete orders the Cuban Burger at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

The Chicago White Sox are rebuilding and are likely to lose more games than they win this season.

But it’s still an exciting time at Guaranteed Rate Field, a chance to see young talent develop as the Pale Hose tries to replicate the tear-it-all-down-and-stockpile-prospects approach that propelled the Cubs and Houston Astros to World Series titles. And of course the team has rolled out new food, amenities and craft beer this year.

Guaranteed Rate Field now offers than 100 different beers, including from beer sponsors Modello, Revolution and Goose Island, said concessionaire Delaware North Operations Manager Rebecca Spalding.

“We have the most craft options out of Major League Baseball,” she said. “We’ve led the charge with that. But that’s what fans are looking for. Craft beer is huge and it’s definitely something that’s hot right now. So we’re excited to be able to provide that.”

Last season, Sox Park replaced the Miller Lite Bullpen Sports Bar in right field with the Craft Kave, which sports more than 75 craft beers from 38 different Midwestern breweries, including 3 Floyds in Munster and 18th Street in Hammond. Fans could watch other games or horse races in the craft beer-themed sports bar, and pay a surcharge to sit outside right over the right field bullpen, with a view that feels like being on the field. It proved so popular they’ve added a Craft Kave Express location with 40 different brews on the 500 level.

“It’s something no other ballpark has, and it was widely received by fans,” Spalding said. “We wanted to make it available to fans on the 500 level so they don’t have to travel as far to try all those craft beers. It’s a little bit less space, so it’s just the more popular selections.”

Craft beer lovers can choose from a wide variety of India Pale Ales, pale ales, stouts, lagers, pilsners, sours and wheats.

“We have the full gamut of beers available,” Spalding said. “We don’t want all IPAs because we know our fans like all different types of beers. Whatever your taste is in beer, we want to have that for you. Craft beer lovers also want to try new things, so we, for instance, had a jalapeno ale. It was different. Craft beer lovers want to try new things.”

The Craft Kave is planning a mug club, where participants could potentially earn T-shirts or their photos on the wall after trying enough varieties of beer.

Chicago-based Revolution Brewing also is pouring six of its acclaimed craft beers on tap in the remodeled Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap room on the 200 level, which is in an all-new location that’s accessible from the stairs at Section 157. Fans can go there to charge their phones, get free T-shirts or other prizes when they check in with the MLB Ballpark app, or snap selfies in front of a life-sized Jose Abreu bobblehead or a huge map of the surrounding Bridgeport neighborhood.

There’s a rotating draft beer menu, a full bar with wine and cocktails, basic food items like pizza, phone chargers with lockers, comfy seats for hanging out and 22 televisions. There’s an outdoor patio where fans can chill out and watch the game if they prefer the view there to their own seats.

“Revolution Brewing is an established hometown brewery that shares our passion for connecting with fans who love White Sox baseball in new ways,” said White Sox Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brooks Boyer. “We are thrilled to grow our relationship with a brand that has such a strong presence in Chicago and among our fans.”

Other new features at the park include the new virtual reality batting cage in The Chicago Sports Depot near Gate 5, which simulates a 90-second home run derby at Guaranteed Rate Field, and the new Grab-’n-Go food stand in Section 142. Similar to a 7-Eleven or Walgreens, the kiosk offers beer, pop, milk, juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, hummus, salads and wraps that are often somewhat cheaper than more traditional ballpark fare.

“It’s meant for fast transactions,” Spalding said. “Just like at an airport, it has beverages, salty and sweet snacks and healthier choices. It’s a one-stop shop for fans to get items that couldn’t find anywhere else in the ballpark. We do get requests for healthy items, and want to have that available for the fans that like it. It’s definitely a need our fans do have. People are always in search of healthy options.”

There’s also a wealth of new concessions on the 100-level and 500-level concourses, including Affy Tapple Caramel Apples, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods, Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches, Cuban Burgers, Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, Johnsonville Specialty Sausages and Organic Apple Strawberry Frozen Juice Cups.

For fans lucky enough to land seats in the club level, there’s also new Buffalo Chicken Empanadas; Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders; provolone-stuffed dough balls known as Knuckle Balls; and the South Side Horseshoe, a spin on the classic open-face Springfield sandwich that loads Italian sausage, giardiniera, hand-cut fries and Modelo cheddar sauce on thick-cut Texas toast.

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

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Lincoln City, NB Council approves new sports facility !

 

April 18, 2018

On Monday the Lincoln, NB city council approved a new project.  It will be west Lincoln’s very own sports facility.

Authorization was given to fund a brand new, 78,000 square foot indoor sports complex that will be able to hold eight basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts.

The nearly 12 million dollar complex will be called the Lincoln Sports Facility.

“We are one step closer to making this project a reality. Sports tourism is becoming a really big business in the United States and we believe this will attract a number of people from outside of Lincoln,” said developer Sam Manzitto.

Pending a traffic safety study, construction documents will be filed shortly. 

The location will be across the street from west gate plaza near west O street and southwest 14th plaza.

A little more than 10 percent of the funding will come from tax payer dollars, but city council members say the economic potential of a state-of-the-art sports complex will pay for itself with ease.

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

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To turn a failing Hazelwood mall into a sports complex, St. Louis County wants $6 million from CVC !

April 18, 2018

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is requesting the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission contribute $6 million to help pay for the PowerPlex project, a regional youth sports complex that would re-imagine the failing St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood. 

According to a letter Stenger posted to his Facebook page on Monday, the county is asking the CVC to appropriate the funds from its Convention and Recreation Trust Fund. 

Stenger, officials with the CVC and some County Council members met Monday afternoon to discuss the possibility of the CVC chipping in on the $92 million project.  

“I’m supportive of the PowerPlex project and am working right now on finding the resources and funding from the CVC for that project,” Stenger told the Post-Dispatch. “The CVC indicated they are willing to discuss it and consider it.”

The massive proposal, including a 750-foot long dome for indoor play, would put baseball fields and basketball and volleyball courts alongside entertainment, restaurants and retail on the site of the nearly vacant St. Louis Outlet Mall, originally known as the St. Louis Mills when it opened only 15 years ago. Some current tenants could remain at the property.

Big Sports Properties, led by former newscaster and former St. Patrick Center CEO Dan Buck, is the developer behind the ambitious plan. A previous plan to put the complex in Chesterfield fell apart last summer after the city balked at a request to extend an agreement to buy land and lease it to developers. 

St. Louis County Council Chairman Sam Page, in a letter to CVC Chairman Andrew Leonard, said the money would come from the county’s 3.5 percent hotel tax. 

“When coordinated with other similar efforts in the St. Louis region, this type of attraction can bring needed tourism activity to our region and help brand us as a family travel destination,” Page said in the letter. 

 

Officials with the CVC were not immediately available for comment.

To move forward with the project, Buck’s group needs to overcome roughly $36 million debt held by a transportation development district established on the mall site. The special sales tax district has seen revenue plummet as stores in the mall closed, putting the property at risk of foreclosure, Buck said.

Hazelwood is offering to buy the outstanding TDD bonds to clear the way for Buck’s group to buy the mall property. 

Some $6 million of a county contribution would go to the Hazelwood site to free up money for debt service. The city of Bridgeton is also partnering on the project, and $2 million would go toward turning the fields at the Bridgeton Athletic Complex just across Highway 370 from dirt to turf for tournament play.

County Council members have hinted at the possibility of the CVC helping out financially. And the CVC pledged two years ago financial support for a youth soccer tournament complex in Creve Coeur Lake Park.

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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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Albuquerque’s west side sports complex booked through November !

The company managing it says the fields are booked every weekend through November, and the combination of tournaments, league events and practices are expected to bring in 250,000 visitors to the facility this year.

Council President Ken Sanchez says it’s already proving to be a big win.

“There will be a cost associated with it, too. You’ve got maintenance, you’ve got umpires. But again, you’ve got some major tournaments coming to Albuquerque that should offset that through sales tax at the same time,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez says the council is set to approve a five-year contract for SMG to manage the complex, Civic Plaza and the Convention Center for $4.5 million.

That vote is expected in two weeks.

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