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Ripon inks exclusive deal for Mistlin vendor

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POSTED July 10, 2009 2:13 a.m.

RIPON – The contract that the City of Ripon inked with a vendor to provide concession services at the Mistlin Sports Park could end up helping the cash-strapped city.

By a unanimous vote of 5-0 the council agreed to let Gary Glendenning, one of three vendors that submitted applications have the exclusive rights to serve the masses that descend on the popular regional park for weekend competitions and give 25 percent of the gross to the city.

Plans for a concession stand were originally in the plans for the massive Mistlin Sports Complex that features a 2.5-million-gallon water tower as the focal point of a four-diamond softball complex that has yet to be completed.

But the tower, complete with its observation decks, is up and running.

With 12 regulations-sized soccer fields, two adult-sized baseball diamonds – one of which has a replica of the Coca-Cola bottle that sits in the outfield at AT&T Park – as well as an outdoor amphitheater that seats thousands of people and has had several large concerts since it opened.

And then there’s the Willie McCovey statue that philanthropist Tony Mistlin – who also donated $500,000 to help secure a crucial plot of land – had installed and unveiled during a special ceremony attended by McCovey himself.

What was set to be the focal point of the entire complex -- the four-diamond softball complex – has been sidelined because of financial problems and according to Recreation Director Kye Stevens it doesn’t seem to be on the horizon anytime soon.

But grassroots efforts like the one currently underway to renovate Stouffer Field might not be completely out of the question when it comes to constructing the four diamonds that will use the water tower as the centerpiece – and it’s something something that the city is definitely open to discuss.

With finances the way that they are right now, if a group or a person were to come up with the money to build those, I’m sure that we could work something out ,” Stevens said. “It’s going to be a big part of an already impressive park.”

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