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Kids become ballpark priority
Kids in Valley sports leagues will be first at bat to play
their games in Torguson Park, thanks to a recent vote by North
Bend City Council members. In making their decision, council
members said they wanted to protect the interests of local children
who participate in youth sports, including softball, baseball and
Up until the City Council's vote, out-of-town adult
sports tournaments were able to schedule time on Torguson Park's
ball fields before Valley Little League and other youth groups had
a chance to request dates for their games and tournaments. Now
Valley youth sports take precedence.
"It's definitely a good thing for the city," Councilman
Ed Carlson said of the Jan. 16 vote. "We're trying to make sure
that the No. 1 priority goes to the kids. We do get a lot of use from
folks outside of North Bend that generates income for the city and
for local businesses, but we just felt like despite that, we needed
to create a priority for our citizens to have first crack at the fields."
Comments to the city from youth sports team
leaders prompted the changes.
"Our rationale was to listen to community leaders, who said
they felt pressure from out-of-town groups," said North Bend
Councilman Jim Gildersleeve. "We just decided we were going to give
the ball-field coordinator the discretion; it's going to be the local
When times for games and practices are scheduled this
year, youth baseball and soccer teams will receive top priority,
followed by youth tournaments and then local adult tournaments. When
all local teams have scheduled their events, out-of-town adult
tournaments will be scheduled for the remaining days.
In addition to setting aside time for locals to play,
ball-field fees were raised for adult teams, making them more
consistent with other cities' fees. North Bend's fee for adult tournament
teams will now be $28 per game, a raise of $8 from last year. In
comparison, the city of Issaquah charges $26 to $33 for adult groups to
use their fields.
The fee for youth games at North Bend ball fields is $3,
the same as last year, and fees for youth practice times are $1.
Local adult team games are $20, and practice time is $1. Youth
tournaments will cost $11, also the same as last year.