A little inside baseball for Kerrville Sports Complex contract

The Kerrville City Council wrestles with the terms of a management agreement for its sports complex.

What should have been an hour-long meeting — at most — turned into a two-hour march through two items on the Kerrville City Council agenda on Tuesday night.

The sticking point? The lease agreement on the Kerrville Sports Complex with a management company that operates the baseball and softball facility. The Parks and Recreation Department Director Ashlea Boyle and city staff wanted to renegotiate the contract to ensure DBAT’s success, which has swung wildly through the coronavirus pandemic.

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At the heart of the conversation was a contract that allows DBAT to pay no rent if it meets the performance target of attracting four tournaments that drew enough teams to stay in Kerrville hotels and attract more than 400 teams to play throughout the year.


The impetus of the 11-field complex, which includes a 17,000-square-foot training center, is that it’s an economic driver for overnight stays. The city requires DBAT to keep detailed participation records to assess its monthly lease payment, ranging from zero to $14,000 per month.

DBAT’s peak year was 2020 when the pandemic shut down playing fields across the state, and for one summer, Kerrville became the hub of baseball, attracting more than 900 teams, including elite high school and collegiate players. However, as the pandemic eased so did the interest in making the trip to Kerrville.

In addition, DBAT had to agree to let Kerrville’s Little League program to utilize the facility — gratis. And there seemed to be confusion on the contract’s language, including an omission that would allow Little League to display its sponsorship banners during its games. Councilmember Kim Clarkson wanted to include that in the contract.

However, the real challenges came when Councilmember Roman Garcia offered three contract changes, including allowing all Kerrville residents to enter the facility for free to watch games. All three of Garcia’s motions failed, although he garnered momentary support from Councilmember Joe Herring Jr. on waving the $10 cover charge for adults.

That proposal got DBAT’s representative to remind the Council that they already allow Kerrville-based travel or select teams to participate in tournaments for free — waving a $450 entry fee. In turn, DBAT charges $10 per adult. So, it’s technically a push.

But the back-and-forth on the intricacies of the contract led Herring to muse that this “was inside baseball.”

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