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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 31

Meeting Date: February 13, 2001

Subject/Title: Consideration of Big League Dreams Proposal for Sunset Park expansion

Submitted by: Craig D. Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager



RECOMMENDATION 
Consider proposal from Big League Dreams for a possible public-private joint venture related to expansion of Sunset Park and direct staff as to how to proceed.

PREVIOUS ACTION
None.

BACKGROUND
Big League Dreams is a private company that has become very popular in recent years for their development of major league replica sports parks. Park and recreation department staff first became aware of the company during a presentation by Big League Dreams at the League of California Cities Community Services Conference last July. Park and Recreation Commission Vice-Chair Karen Rarey attended the session and brought back information on the public-private partnership for sport field development that was discussed by the Park and Recreation Commission in August.

In September, Don Webber, Vice President/Development of Big League Dreams came to Brentwood to meet with City staff and to see if Brentwood might be a community they would consider for future development. As a result of that meeting, Mr. Webber indicated that Brentwood is very much the type of community they would like to consider for expansion in Northern California. Members of the Park and Recreation Commission/department staff, visited the Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City in October to the see their complex and brought back a recommendation to the commission to continue discussions with Big League Dreams on a possible joint venture.

During their consideration, the commission was supportive of the idea of building first class sports facilities, however, the commission was concerned that the majority of risk in the endeavor is with the City, not Big League Dreams. Big League Dreams would contract with the City to provide expertise on design and project management, but the complex would be built by the City (estimated at $8,000,000 - $10,000,000). Big League Dreams would then operate the complex for a set period of time to be determined and pay the City a percentage of their revenue, which could be used to pay back development costs. Big League Dreams would also pay for all on-going/daily maintenance costs, thus saving the City additional expenses that are normally incurred in the operation of a sports complex. Pam Ehler, Acting Finance Director, provided the commission with an overview of funding options that could be considered to pay for the expansion of Sunset Park.

The final footprint of Sunset Park for expansion is contingent on the final design of the Sunset Industrial Park. This has not yet been finalized. Additionally, the current expansion of Sunset Park is expected to be phased over the next 5 - 8 years and not all sources of revenue for the expansion have been identified. As a result, the commission recommended that staff continue to consider the Big League Dream joint venture by asking for direction from City Council.

Don Webber gave a presentation to the City Council CIP subcommittee on January 19th. The subcommittee is very supportive of providing outstanding sport facilities for the community and recommended staff bring the proposal to City Council to see if Council is interested in moving forward with consideration of a possible joint venture. The next step in the process, as recommended by Don Webber, would be for the City of Brentwood to send a committee to visit the Cathedral City sports park and meet directly with Big League Dream staff. If a committee is sent, staff would recommend the committee consist, as a minimum, of: members of the City Council/staff CIP subcommittee; Park and Recreation Commission representative; representative of East Diablo PONY baseball; and representative of East Diablo Youth Soccer association. Additional members could be added at the recommendation of City Council.

Staff has provided a copy of an informational packet from Big League Dreams and a copy of their promotional videotape. Park and recreation department staff/Park and Recreation Commission members will be making a short staff report and will show the video at the City Council meeting and be available to discuss the next step that we take.

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