Triple Crown Tournament Could be in Park City Through 2032
The Triple Crown softball tournament was cancelled this July due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the organizers were none too pleased about it. Despite the rocky summer, the tournament could return to Park City for the next 12 years.
With complications from the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on events throughout the summer, a number of mainstays on Park City’s summer schedule were cancelled.
The Kimball Arts Festival, Fourth of July festivities, and a slew of sports tournaments all fell victim to the pandemic, including the annual Triple Crown softball tournament.
Originally scheduled for July 13th-18th, the Triple Crown tournament usually brings around 7,000 people to Park City throughout the course of the week and is responsible for a sizable chunk of July sales for Park City businesses and lodging.
Triple Crown CEO Keri King was frustrated at the time that Park City would have considered requiring measures like a 14-day quarantine for visiting teams, mandatory COVID-19 testing, sterilizing facilities between games, and limitations on spectator numbers if the tournament was to go forward. Triple Crown eventually withdrew their event shortly before the tournament was to begin.
The Park City City Council is set to consider granting an extension of the Triple Crown tournament through 2021 as well as a 10-year contract to hold the event in Park City through 2032 at their September 17th meeting.
Park City Manager Matt Dias told KPCW the event has been held in Park City since 2003 and local stakeholders tell him the tournament is an essential part of Park City’s summer economy.
“They’ve been great for Park City, they’ve supported all sorts of local clubs and local lodging institutions and restaurants,” said Dias. “We’ve got some fairly strong stakeholder input and feedback that this is a great boon to the economy during the summer months but there are some negative impacts of this tournament and that’s something that city council is going to have to weigh.”
Dias said some of those negative impacts stem from increased noise, traffic, and potential neighborhood disturbances with a large event in town during peak summer vacation time.
“You know, we get a lot of traffic, we’ll get a lot of congestion and I think people feel that those weeks during the summer are important for our quality of life and we have the ability to take a deep breath without events in town,” he said.
“Conversely, they do fill a lot of rooms and a lot of seats in restaurants and shops and stores and so, clearly, there’s a balance that we need to strike.”
The Historic Park City Alliance represents the business community on Park City’s Main Street and also took up the issue at their monthly board meeting on September 15th.
Alison Kuhlow is the Executive Director of the organization and said the majority of the board was in strong favor of continuing the tournament in Park City, but a few business owners did have concerns about the impact of the tournament’s parade on lower Main Street.
“It brings in so many different people who have never been to Park City, future guests that can come back and bring families,” Kuhlow said. “It has minimal impact but great rewards as far as the sales for Main Street so we are supportive of a 10-year contract and we are interested in continuing discussions with Triple Crown regarding their parade on Main Street. It may not be configured as it is right now.”
The Triple Crown agreement is the first item on the City Council’s agenda for September 17th and the council will be hearing public comments. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 3pm and if you are interested in participating via Zoom, a link to all of the information can be found here.