City Demolishes Pony Baseball Concessions Stand
Mar 10, 2016 11:13AM
By Bryan Scott
By Taylor Stevens | [email protected]
West Jordan - Members of the West Jordan Pony Baseball community spoke at a packed West Jordan City Council meeting on Jan. 27, fighting to keep emotions down and a concessions stand open at the city’s baseball park.
Mayor Kim Rolfe said at that evening’s council meeting that the city had no intentions of tearing down the concession stand.
“A few facts: no one plans to tear down the concession stand; we have money budgeted to remodel the concession stand,” Rolfe said. “It should have been torn down years ago. It’s dangerous and somebody’s going to get hurt.”
Rolfe said that it wasn’t plausible for the city to tear down the concessions stand and get an environmental study done so the league could have a season — “let alone try to build a new building this year or do anything else,” he said. “So temporarily we’ve got to solve the problem, and this council will get that done temporarily.”
Despite resident concern and Rolfe’s insistence otherwise, however, the concession stand was torn down on Feb. 8 because it was “structurally unsound” and no longer up to city code, according to Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer.
Residents, however, said that without the profits from concessions, the league would have to close altogether.
“With those kind of costs at the end of the season, we would be done,” Travis Rowley, who spoke during the public comment section of the city council meeting, said. “We can’t afford to accrue those costs anymore. That is our concern that if that concession stand is not rebuilt, this league will fold. We couldn’t possibly operate. There is no other option.”
Losing the concessions stand altogether would mean losing 90 percent of the league’s revenue, according to residents who spoke at the meeting. However, the city said it would help the league offset costs by providing alternative options for concessions.
“We are pouring a cement pad with utility hookups,” Wells said. “The league is bringing in a temporary structure to use this season. They have been directed to come back after this season to discuss how the setup worked.”
However, residents at the city council meeting said that bringing in alternative options would still incur costs that could threaten the league’s existence. If the league folds, Rowley told the council that he believes super leagues would come in and blue-collar families would suffer.
Although some players could find other leagues if the program closed, other families may not have the economic means to do so.
“There’s a possibility that some kids might be able to go and play other places, but it’s not feasible for all of them,” Donovan Ron, who spoke before the council during public comment, said. “I understand that we don’t have the money for every project that people want to do, but if you go out and you look at the families and just a few minutes that a family can get away and not have to worry about, you know, finding a job or whatever or other problems they have, and they can enjoy baseball… please don’t take that away. At least give us a way to try to help to fix it.”