Seaside partnership looks for Broadway Field funds

Broadway Field is proving costly as government agencies seek to share expenses.

SEASIDE — The three entities responsible for Broadway Field are in the process trying to more equally share costs.

Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District maintains Broadway Field as part of a 2012 agreement — which involves the city of Seaside and Seaside School District 10 — and incurs the coast of routine maintenance and repair of the fields, facilities and equipment. So far, this cost has not been covered by revenue made by the field.

Each of the recreation district’s past three budgets contained a transfer from the city’s general fund to the Broadway Field Fund to offset projected operational deficits from lack of rentals and underperforming concessions.

“If you were just to look at the field by itself, it’s not a profitable service or facility for us,” district Executive Director Skyler Archibald said.

Since last summer, recreation district staff worked with the city and school district to review the agreement and propose updates.

Under an amendment, approved by the school district’s board of directors in Feburary, the school district will pay the park district an annual contribution toward the field’s maintenance costs. The payment, beginning with the next school year, will be $10,900, with the contribution to be adjusted annually, on agreement of the parties, based on maintenance costs.

The parties will determine each year what equipment and facilities need replacement or improvement.

Since Broadway Field was completed about four years ago, it has not been rented as much as anticipated. The school district remains the primary user of the field for its middle school and high school athletic programs. The local schools have first dibs on using the facility’s football, softball and baseball fields, as long as they schedule their events by a certain deadline. Other than that, the recreation district uses the facility for some of its programs, and Seaside Kids Inc. and other local groups use it, as well.

Archibald said making the field a more attractive and rentable space is a significant challenge, because it is no longer one of the few turf fields in the region, as it was when first installed.

“It’s a different dynamic at play right now,” he said.

Maintenance of the field and the artificial turf is more expensive and time-consuming than originally anticipate, he added.

Archibald said the recreation district is committed to keeping Broadway Field as an asset to the community and he appreciates the other two partners being willing to adjust the cost distribution.

“Our district wants to be a partner in the community,” he said. “We also really want to promote the opportunity to play in outdoor spaces for youth and adults alike. And the field is one of the best venues in Seaside to promote year-round play.”

Even though the investment has not panned out as expected, and there “have been some hurdles and speed bumps along the way,” Archibald said the district is “really happy to have the field to offer as a venue.”

The recreation district’s board of directors plans to approve the amendment. The recreation district then will present the amendment before Seaside City Council, likely at a meeting in March, for approval.