Cheyenne Mayor, Councilman Disagree On Baseball Tournament
Cheyenne City Councilman Pete Laybourn doesn't want to let the Continental Amateur Baseball Association [CABA] use Cheyenne's Powers Field for a tournament this summer after CABA left the city holding the bag for $50,000 on a tournament in 2017.
But Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr says there may not be anything the city can legally do to prevent CABA from reserving the field, just like any other organization.
The city contributed $50,000 to the Cheyenne Mustangs baseball team last year for the CABA 18 and under Northwest Regional Wood Bat World Series at Powers Field.
The expectation had been that 16 25 player teams would come to Cheyenne for the tournament, each playing seven games in a pool-style tournament over a week in August. The Mustangs were to reimburse the city with proceeds from the tournament. But only three teams actually ended up competing in the tournament, and the Mustangs weren't able to pay the money back.
The event was a big disappointment to the Mustangs and the city, according to both organizations.
Mustangs Varsity Coach Rick Thompson told the Cheyenne City Council in February "Steve Avila [of CABA] failed to produce a tournament last year despite the fact he was paid." He added, "He failed to cover our losses as he promised."
Laybourne says the Mustangs took $35,000 in losses.
But even though the city council rejected another contract with CABA to hold a tournament in Cheyenne this summer, it turns out CABA has still reserved Powers Field from July 10-15th for another competition.
Laybourn put forward a resolution recently to prevent that from happening unless CABA comes up with the money lost by the city and the Mustangs last year. That resolution faces third and final reading before the city council tonight.
But Mayor Orr says that since Powers Field was built in part with federal money, the city can't simply refuse to allow CABA to reserve the field, just like any other organization.
She says 17 teams are already booked for the July competition, including Cheyenne's American Legion Post #6. She says the fact that this year's competition is being held earlier in the year, before various state tournaments, should help the turnout.
The mayor also says "This could be an opportunity for Mr. Avila to pay back some of the money he owes the Mustangs." The mayor says allowing the tournament this year won't cost the city anything. ''We have absolutely nothing to lose and a chance to gain back some revenue,'' the mayor says. She says for the city to try to block this summer's event when some of last year's losses might be recouped doesn't make any sense.