For the past 10 years, TPR Baseball has been operating tournaments in Ripon.
This is the largest sports company of field and management in Northern California and the fifth largest in the U.S.
The Ripon City Council received a few complaints about TPR Baseball, which has a lease agreement with the City while using the Mistlin Sports Park as headquarters or the main site, at the August meeting. Included were folks having to pay admission at the gate just to see their kids at practice not to mention the screening process and poor field conditions, to name a few.
Colleen Medeiros, for one, was none too thrilled about having to fork out $12 at Mistlin just to attend her son’s practice.
Lance Boullion, who is the TPR operation manager at Mistlin, explained the reason for that was the practice session was held at same time as a tournament.
“We try to deter coaches from wanting to practice on tournament nights at Mistlin because of the cost to the parents to enter,” he said. “In this particular case, the coach was advised of the cost, but he still wanted to practice there.”
Boullion indicated that coaches are encouraged to schedule their practices on non-league days of Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Mislin, for the most part – tournament nights notwithstanding – has the fields open to the public from 3 to 5 p.m.
Medeiros also had concerns on who’s monitoring the money at the gate since there are no cash registers.
Boullion explained that Mistlin currently has no storage for equipment. “So, unfortunately, there are no cash registers,” he said.
TPR pays the City a flat rate to lease the facilities, with a percentage of that coming from concessions – hence, the policy on barring outside concessions for the exceptions of water.
The strict and lengthy bag search – some of the complaints here involved the attitude of the staff – was that of teenagers getting paid minimum wage, Boullion noted.
“This is in order to prevent outside drinks and food from coming in the park,” he said of the screening process.
As for the conditions of the field, Boullion said that TPR takes care of that by using its own money, time, and resources.
According to the City, TPR has done plenty to boost the local economy. Out-of-town visitors come to Mistlin for tournaments to stay at the nearby hotels while dining and shopping in Ripon.
TPR continues to grow, adding more teams to the weekday leagues and the weekend tournaments, increasing the number of visitors.
In terms of revenue, the lease with the City provides an annual revenue stream to the general fund to the tune of $176,000 per year.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.