ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Grownup softball leagues in Abilene say worth will enhance are driving groups away to areas That are Low price and have greater amenities.
“We’re seeing pretty A pair of much less groups,” said Darryl Ellis, Director for USSSA Abilene.
To create new income all by way of price range shortfalls, the Abilene Metropolis Council accredited charging all league sport recreationrs $20 per participant per facility and $25 for non-Abilene residents.
“Ought to they pay extra? Properly, In the event that they do not Appear to be paying property taxes, they in all probability should pay extra,” Abilene Metropolis Supervisor Robert Hanna said at a 2020 city council meeting.
The city says The mannequin new payment helps pay for upmaintain and lights, however members from the Abilene Sluggish pitch Softball Affiliation say the added costs have made The worth of having fun with softball too costly.
“Nobody Desires to pay That quantity to play 10 video recreations in Abilene,” said a participant who wants To maintain nameless.
He says having fun with The sport helped flip his life round.
“I struggled with drug behavior for 18 yrs, and softball has been what’s stored me sober for eight yrs,” he says.
Now he’s afraid he gained’t Be In a place to play since extra groups have dropped out.
“We now have anyplace between 50 and 60 groups,” said Ellis.
Ellis says They’ve significantly fewer groups now.
“This yr our numbers are Proper down to twenty to 25,” said Ellis.
Ellis says it beforehand value $525 per group.
Of That quantity, $400 of the funding goes to hiring private upmaintain for Nelson Park, staff, umpires For every recreation, and provides for The sector, $25 goes to USSSA, And every participant would pay $10 for themselves.
“It Was $10 a contract, now they Want to pay $30 as a Outcome of $20 of it has to go to the city,” said Ellis.
So, with The mannequin new city payment, it’s round $725 per group, which is about $75 per participant.
“What’s The objective of having fun with $700 Everytime you’re having fun with The identical two groups?” said Abigail Lopez, ASSA softball participant.
Ellis says they acknowledge that COVID-19 has performed An factor in groups dropping out, however They’ve acquired dozens of complaints that it’s simply too costly.
Ellis says He is apprehensive about dropping potential events since there Aren’t enough groups Of their league, They will’t afford to make upgrades needed to The sectors, Similar to scoreboards, Which might make Abilene extra fascinating for internet hosting.
The Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau says they Have not but had any complaints about event costs.