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The Sanpete Messenger

Manti Sports Park hosts hundreds from out of town regional tourneys

Scores of youngsters play soccer at the Manti City Sports Park on Monday, Aug. 24. During August, the park hosted two regional events attracting 35 teams and hundreds of players and spectators. And under what is known as the “single-site” model, the Manti, Gunnison and Ephraim community recreation programs all came together on a Saturday and a Monday in late August to play about 50 games at the park.

 

Manti Sports Park hosts hundreds from

out of town regional tourneys

 

By Suzanne Dean

Publisher

9-3-2020

 

 

MANTI—One of Manti’s goals in building the Manti City Sports Park north of town was to attract tournaments and events that could bring visitors and dollars into the city.

That vision is starting to be realized, Kent Barton, city manager, told the Manti City Council at a meeting Aug. 19.

In late 2019, Central Utah Athletics, a community recreation organization, scheduled five all-day tournaments at the park, the only facility in Sanpete County that has five ball diamonds.

The city cancelled three of the events because they were scheduled at times when Sanpete County was rated “orange” for COVID-19 danger.

But since the county moved to yellow status, two of the multi-day events have gone forward.

On Aug. 7-8 (Friday and Saturday), an adult co-ed all-night tournament was held featuring 14 teams, followed by a men’s tournament that ran from 1 to 10 p.m. and involved eight teams.

And last Saturday, Aug. 29, the park hosted a fast-pitch softball tournament for girls under 12 years old, an adult co-ed softball tournament, a junior homerun derby and a cornhole tournament. Those events attracted 13 teams.

All of the competitions on the two weekends were sponsored by Central Utah Athletics, which is a branch of Utah USSSA. USSSA stands for United States Specialty Sports Association. The association is a national organization that promotes and helps organize nonprofessional competitions in baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball.

The 30-acre sports park is also supporting what Vern Jensen, Manti City sports and recreation director, calls the “super-site model” for scheduling community recreation events in the county.

Each week, all competitions sponsored by the Manti, Ephraim and Gunnison recreation programs are all held at the same location. The locations rotate among the three cities.

For instance, on a given week, all soccer and softball games sponsored by all three cites might be held in Manti on a Monday and a Saturday. As many as 50 teams might play on a given day. The next week, games would be held on the same days and evenings in Ephraim. And the next rotation might be to Gunnison.

The model enables families with different-age children playing on different teams to take their whole family to one location. Parents are able to watch parts of all their children’s games.

Development of the sports park, which took more than two years, is essentially complete.

“One of the umpires for the softball association, who has been to parks all over southern Idaho and Utah, told our sports director that our infield was among the finest he has seen,” Barton said.

The last component of the project was construction of an access road from 850 North, the road running on the north side of the Manti City Cemetery, into the complex and construction of a parking lot around the south side of the park.

Up until the road and parking lot went in, cars kicked up a tremendous amount of dust as they approached the park.

The slurry seal on the top of the road and parking lot were completed last week, Barton said, and in coming weeks, the city plans to have the parking lot stripped.

 

 

That vision is starting to be realized, Kent Barton, city manager, told the Manti City Council at a meeting Aug. 19.

In late 2019, Central Utah Athletics, a community recreation organization, scheduled five all-day tournaments at the park, the only facility in Sanpete County that has five ball diamonds.

The city cancelled three of the events because they were scheduled at times when Sanpete County was rated “orange” for COVID-19 danger.

But since the county moved to yellow status, two of the multi-day events have gone forward.

On Aug. 7-8 (Friday and Saturday), an adult co-ed all-night tournament was held featuring 14 teams, followed by a men’s tournament that ran from 1 to 10 p.m. and involved eight teams.

And last Saturday, Aug. 29, the park hosted a fast-pitch softball tournament for girls under 12 years old, an adult co-ed softball tournament, a junior homerun derby and a cornhole tournament. Those events attracted 13 teams.

All of the competitions on the two weekends were sponsored by Central Utah Athletics, which is a branch of Utah USSSA. USSSA stands for United States Specialty Sports Association. The association is a national organization that promotes and helps organize nonprofessional competitions in baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball.

The 30-acre sports park is also supporting what Vern Jensen, Manti City sports and recreation director, calls the “super-site model” for scheduling community recreation events in the county.

Each week, all competitions sponsored by the Manti, Ephraim and Gunnison recreation programs are all held at the same location. The locations rotate among the three cities.

For instance, on a given week, all soccer and softball games sponsored by all three cites might be held in Manti on a Monday and a Saturday. As many as 50 teams might play on a given day. The next week, games would be held on the same days and evenings in Ephraim. And the next rotation might be to Gunnison.

The model enables families with different-age children playing on different teams to take their whole family to one location. Parents are able to watch parts of all their children’s games.

Development of the sports park, which took more than two years, is essentially complete.

“One of the umpires for the softball association, who has been to parks all over southern Idaho and Utah, told our sports director that our infield was among the finest he has seen,” Barton said.

The last component of the project was construction of an access road from 850 North, the road running on the north side of the Manti City Cemetery, into the complex and construction of a parking lot around the south side of the park.

Up until the road and parking lot went in, cars kicked up a tremendous amount of dust as they approached the park.

The slurry seal on the top of the road and parking lot were completed last week, Barton said, and in coming weeks, the city plans to have the parking lot stripped.