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Manteca BLD set to smash records with 400K guests

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Manteca BLD set to smash records with 400K guests

Ken Sylvia sends one deep into the outfield during Wednesday's kickball pick-up game action at the Big League Dreams sports complex.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 17, 2009 2:19 a.m.
Big League Dreams Manteca is the undisputed champ for paid attendance among the nine replica Major League Baseball sports complexes managed by the Southern California-based firm.

Attendance at the complex on Milo Candini Drive owned by the City of Manteca is on target to top 400,000 people this year. It is expected to outpace the next closest BLD complex by at least 100,000 paying guests. The Fourth of July celebration – which had 4,000 paying customers that helped defray the city’s costs of fireworks and another 3,000 who were under 13 and got in free – helped set a companywide record for one-day food and beverage sales.

Manteca also has the highest revenue increases within the BLD company.

BLD is also posting the highest revenue increases companywide for BLD despite 2008 being a better that anticipated year locally that saw double digit growth in both revenue and attendance. That ultimately translates into good news for the City of Manteca.

Revenue was up 22.1 percent in April, May and June compared to the first three months of the year. At the midway point for the calendar year revenue has hit $1,042,984.

That means $166,863 of that amount goes to the city under the terms of the contract the BLD organization has with Manteca to run and maintain the sports complex. It is highly likely that by the start of the fourth quarter revenues will top $1.4 million which means Manteca will receive 20 percent for every dollar beyond that threshold. Up until then, Manteca’ stake rises to 16 percent.

If the current revenue trend continues, Manteca’s receipts will top $332,000 off the basic rent agreement by year’s end. That compares to $310,000 received in 2008.

The basic rent is in addition to two other payments BLD is required to make every year - $40,000 and $26,500 to add on two features. Those features are the indoor soccer arena and all-weather turf for all six baseball infields that were not included in the original BLD project. Those payments are reimbursing 100 percent of the cost of the two projects to the bonus bucks account that represents fees paid by developers of residential sewer allocation certainty and park fees collected on new homes for community facilities.

The basic rent which was $310,000 last year is going into the park fee account for community facilities by council directive. The bulk of the money to build the basic complex came from redevelopment agency funds with park fees covering a smaller part.

The BLD complex is the first recreational improvement that is paying back the park fee account. Elected leaders wanted it that way so ultimately the BLD complex would zero out on its use of park fees for construction to allow the money paid back to go for other recreational projects.

Statistics show that from 2008 to 2009 Manteca BLD experienced:

•a 20 percent increase in season four teams from 260 to 335.

•a jump of 38 youth indoor soccer teams.

•sold-out weekends every week of the year in both 2008 and 2009 with 75 percent of all weekend players being youth.

The Manteca BLD conducted its first world series – it was for girls fast pitch – the week of July 27 through Aug. 2. It featured 24 teams but plans to grow in 2010.

Other new events for 2009 included:

•adding six more team for Sunday night play to take the number to 66 teams without reducing the size of tournaments.

•started a Friday twilight league with all games splayed at 5 p.m.

•started a kickball league on Thursday nights.

•launched a Manteca-based boys baseball league on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings.

•conducted the first San Joaquin County law enforcement tournament.

Upcoming events in 2010 include the Electrical Workers Union annual tournament and dinner with 16 teams and 300 guests for dinner. They have already completely booked two Manteca hotels.
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