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Triple Crown Tournament Future Uncertain After Park City Council Meeting

Triple Crown Sports

Possible contract extensions to the annual Triple Crown softball tournament in Park City were up for discussion at the Park City City Council Meeting on Thursday. The tournament wants to stay in Park City through 2032, but the city council will need to be convinced that it’s a good idea.


The 2020 edition of the Triple Crown softball tournament fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic in July along with a host of other well-known summer events in Park City.


The Triple Crown organizers were unhappy, to say the least, when the city told them a slew of COVID-19 related health restrictions would be in place if the tournament was to go forward as scheduled.


Now, the tournament organizers want to extend their contract through next summer and secure an additional 10 year contract, keeping the tournament in Park City through 2032.


Park City City Councilmember Tim Henney told KPCW although Triple Crown did issue announcements cancelling the tournament on their website and social media, the organizers may not have officially withdrawn the event from the city’s calendar. Henney said that could complicate their request. 


“If in fact they didn’t cancel the 2020 tournament officially, then maybe they don’t have the ability to ask for an extension because really all that we’re doing, we think, at this point, is making an exception for COVID like we have done with a lot of other businesses, a lot of other events,” said Henney. “I think right now the council’s view is that it makes sense to let them come back under the existing contract in 2021, but I’ll tell you what, beyond that, everything is up for discussion.” 


Henney said granting a 10 year contract to anyone, not just Triple Crown, would be unwise given how unpredictable the pandemic has been and how no guarantees can be made about future years being affected by similar unforeseen circumstances.


“You know, we don’t know what’s going to be happening tomorrow, much less 10 years from now so just the obvious is to lock the community, lock future councils into something that’s 10 years long doesn’t seem like a responsible thing to do,” he added. “We’ll start right there, that’s a tough hurdle to clear and I think it’s a hurdle that will not be cleared.”


Striking a balance between the concerns of city government, residents seeking a more mellow summer season, and the business community in need of an economic boost presents another challenge.


The Historic Park City Alliance represents the business community on Park City’s Main Street and expressed their strong support for the contract extensions. The HPCA claims a large chunk of their mid-summer business and lodging revenue can be directly tied to the Triple Crown tournament.


Councilmember Max Doilney acknowledged the vital economic impact of mid-week events like Triple Crown on Thursday but also wants other summer events like the Park City Extreme Soccer tournament to not have to schedule around Triple Crown in the future.


“That mid-week business is critical to Park City and it’s going to be critical going forward but the idea that Triple Crown is sort of like a big brother and people have to sort of work around them, I’m a little uncomfortable with that,” Doilney said. “I would prefer it to be more of a level playing field and make sure these things are well noted ahead of time so that it’s not like we have to ask permission from Triple Crown for us to have Extreme Soccer. I don’t want that to come at a later date, I just need to make sure that’s clear up front.”


City council ultimately decided on Thursday they were in favor of the Triple Crown tournament coming back to Park City in 2021, but a 10-year contract was significantly less appealing. 


Negotiations between Park City Municipal and Triple Crown organizers are ongoing and final decisions on the future of the tournament will come at a later date.

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