The fields at West University ES are among those utilized by Tri-Sports athletes.
up 46% of WULL’s total registration. But Tri-Sports fields are
only 44% of the field space used by WULL’s programs, and only
Tri-Sports fields receive public funding. Therefore, Tri-Sports
funding does not subsidize non-resident WULL players. It’s
actually the other way around.
Likewise, 35% of WUSA players are residents of West U and
Southside. But the WUSA fields in the Tri-Sports system make
up only 26% of the field space where WUSA’s teams practice
and play. Thus, Tri-Sports funding does not subsidize non-resident
WUSA families. The converse is true.
The soccer analysis is the same. West U and Southside kids
are 14% of all Rise players (system-wide). But Rise plays at 17
different complexes, only 3 of which are Tri-Sports campuses.
Tri-Sports fields are only 9% of the overall Rise footprint. Tri-
Sports funding does not subsidize non-resident Rise children.
Consider the same point a different way. If the Tri-Sports
leagues suddenly restricted participation to only West U and
Southside residents, what number and types of fields would be
necessary for these mythic residents-only programs? It would
take all the Tri-Sports fields, and then some.
In fact, in that alternative reality, the Tri-Sports fields could
not accommodate all the programs the leagues currently offer
to West U residents. In a residents-only, Tri-Sports fields-only
universe, there would be no baseball after age 13, no softball
after age 10, and no significant fall ball programs either. Once
examined, the City’s subsidy argument falls apart.
Lastly, the Mayor claims City leaders are not really turning their
backs on Tri-Sports, because the City will continue to provide a
“$100,000 value” for the Rec Center fields “at no cost.” This is
the first time we’ve seen this “$100,000 field value” argument,
with good reason.
Page 16 | THE ESSENTIALS
Each year, the
between West U
in a signed
have use of the
Rec Center fields,
in addition to
City funding and
the Rec Center
and West U
and the leagues’
commitment to administer programs for the benefit of at least
1,000 West U children.
As described, Tri-Sports spends hundreds of thousands of
dollars each year on just the field maintenance part of this
deal. Combined league operations costs are in the millions.
The economic value that Tri-Sports brings to this bargain is
tremendous. The Mayor’s argument is akin to a car salesman
telling a customer that he’s ready to provide a new car “at no
cost,” in exchange for payment of the sticker price.
Because we cannot fully address every aspect of this important
issue here, we have launched a website, www.westutrisports.
org. It is designed to answer as many questions as possible
about Tri-Sports funding. It also contains an easy way for West
U residents to help, by adding your name to the growing list of
those willing to speak up for Tri-Sports and its member leagues.
The City is not going to reverse course on this issue based on
arguments from Tri-Sports leadership. Only your voices can fix
this problem. For decades, Tri-Sports has worked with the City
to build opportunities for our children to play. That partnership
has been vital to West U’s health and growth and reputation
as a wonderful place to live. Don’t let that legacy waste away.
Sign on, sign up, and speak out. Let’s make sure our local
government does right by our children.
Gregg Thompson and Greg Waller have each lived
in West U for more than 17 years. Thompson is the
former president of WULL. Waller is the former
president of WUSA. Both are members of the Tri-
Sports Advisory Committee.