Casper Council Discusses Possible Changes for Mike Lansing Field
At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council heard from Zulima Lopez, parks and recreation and public facilities director for Casper, about what progress the city has made towards finalizing a new lease for the Mike Lansing Field.
Lopez said she had spoken with several of the groups that have used the field in the past about how the city plans on using the field in the future, and that the city wants to be able to break even on the cost of the field.
When it comes to maintaining the field, councilmember Kyle Gamroth asked about what the city would need to do in that regard and if signs could be put up to make people aware that the city isn't responsible.
Lopez said in response that because city staff are well trained and have the proper equipment for maintenance, they would be responsible for cleaning before and after games, but if there are doubleheaders that might not be necessary.
The recommendations made to the council rested on the desire to have the city make money off of the baseball fields, which would allow reinvesting in other areas of the city.
"Our goal would be to eliminate the city subsidy and so as such we would not entertain a rate structure that would take a step back for us, so the recommendation is to keep the current rate structure or modify it in such a way that we maintain that positive trajectory towards an eliminated subsidy," Lopez said. "The operation we feel should be self-sustaining. I don't think there's any question that there's a lot of money in baseball so there is an opportunity for us to at the very least break even if not make some revenue dollars that could help offset expenses in other rec areas throughout the city."
Lopez said that some groups have expressed an interest in investing in improvements to the field, and if anything is agreed to beforehand, that would also be included in the modified lease.
Someone other than the city would also be doing concessions and most likely come to the council at some point to ask for a liquor license to sell alcohol at baseball games.
In addition, if anyone wanted to book the field, they would have to come to the city with specific dates before the season starts, with any conflicts mediated between the two groups.
Besides just using the field for baseball games, Lopez said there is also the possibility of having concerts or movie nights at the park during the summer.
The possible lease would be sometime between five and 10 years and would most likely be an agreement with multiple parties.