Park City’s City Council canceled all city-sponsored Fourth of July events last week due to COVID-19 concerns. The council may also raise the safety requirements for other private events to come to town. One of those events, The Triple Crown softball tournament, isn’t happy about it.
Scheduled for July 13-18, the annual Triple Crown softball tournament usually brings around 7,000 people to Park City throughout the course of the tournament.
The group’s Facebook page has a post dated June 30, announcing tournaments in Reno, Nevada, San Diego, California, and Park City have all been cancelled. A popup message on the Park City event page on the Triple Crown website also indicates the event has been cancelled.
However, Triple Crown Sports CEO Keri King said the event is still on.
“The suggestion from City Council was loud and clear to not have events this summer in Park City," King said. "We’ve actually put our event back in the hopper now and we’re going to be faced with new mitigation efforts that I don’t even know what they’re going to be.”
Park City Economic Development Manager, Jonathan Weidenhamer, confirmed to KPCW on Thursday if Triple Crown is unwilling to withdraw their event, City Council will consider approval with “heavy conditions” on July 9.
Those conditions have not been finalized but Weidenhamer told KPCW that measures like a 14-day quarantine for visiting teams, mandatory COVID-19 testing, sterilizing facilities between games, and limiting spectator size are all being considered.
Weidenhamer said the council was in a position to put on special events just a few weeks ago, but an increase in COVID-19 cases in Summit County has forced them to reconsider.
“City Council was abundantly clear that they didn’t want to bring people together," he explained. "They didn’t believe they could mitigate for the impacts on health, safety, and welfare of the community by facilitating bringing additional bodies here. Triple Crown, I think, would love to hold that event and I think even two or three weeks ago, we might have thought we could hold that event but the data has changed. The reopening of the economy has had dire impacts and council is incredibly sensitive to taking a role in doing so. [While] they didn’t cancel, they didn’t blanket cancel our summer event calendar, they have set, in my mind, an incredibly high bar to mitigate for any events.”
King said there will be baseball teams playing in Orem from July 7-11 in a Triple Crown event and will be staying in Park City. He expressed frustration in the council’s decision to not prioritize the economic impact of not hosting the tournament.
“Yet the City Council took the advice of all the emails they got, the influx of grocery store visits that shot up in duration, and the concerned citizens that, in my opinion, are probably second home owner retirees," he said. "They’re not in the job force, otherwise they wouldn’t have shot themselves in the head.”
Park City’s City Council meeting on July 9 starts at 2pm.