Dunwoody Senior Baseball will help to pay for the upkeep of new city baseball fields it uses for tournament play in a first-of-its-kind deal.
The agreement between the city and DSB approved by the City Council at the Sept. 11 council states that beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the league will pay the city 10 percent of net revenue less than $100,000 generated by tournament rental fees. If DSB brings in a revenue from tournament rental fees over $100,000, the league will pay the city 15 percent of the revenue.
The money will be used to pay for upkeep of the fields, especially the artificial turf.
This is the first time DSB has been required to pay any of its revenue to the city, said President Jerry Weiner.
“We’ve never been asked to pay a tax like this,” he said, adding the league has always put any money made back into the program.
Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said after the meeting that DSB made about $60,000 last year. The fee structure in the new facilities agreement is expected to capture the expected increase in revenue the new fields will bring to help pay for their maintenance, he said.
Weiner said there are more than $200,000 in capital projects to complete on the fields that DSB will be paying for, including adding shade structures.
As part of the facilities agreement, anything DSB spends on capital improvements will go toward fulfilling the 10 percent payment to the city.
DSB has been around since 1975 and is a league for middle-school and high-school boys and young adult men.
When the City Council agreed two years ago to sell the old baseball fields at Dunwoody Park to DeKalb Schools to build a new 900-seat Austin Elementary School, the city was faced with finding DSB a new home. Two new fields were built for about $7 million between Brook Run Park and Peachtree Charter Middle School and opened earlier this year.
Since they’ve opened, the fields have been packed with DSB leagues as well as tournaments sponsored by national baseball organizations.
The fields’ location on North Peachtree Road has increased DSB’s visibility, and its public scrutiny. Some residents and Councilmember John Heneghan have argued the fields need to be made available to other sports, such as girls’ softball. Weiner told the council Sept. 11 that DSB is considering starting a girls’ baseball league.
Weiner told the council he expects to charge more for organizations to host baseball tournaments at the new baseball fields but doesn’t know how much the new rates will be. The new fields are attracting national attention and Weiner said he expects to be able to get a “premium price” to rent the fields.
The council also spent several minutes thanking Weiner for the service DSB provides the community as they tried to beat back apparent widespread criticism on social media.
“I’ve seen comments on social media, but they don’t tell the whole story,” Councilmember Jim Riticher said.