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Glen Cove council approves bid for youth baseball series

Glen Cove officials are hoping that a series of youth baseball tournaments slated to come to the city later this year will pump money into parks facility improvements and bring in thousands of visitors who will spend money at local businesses. (Credit: Newsday / David Olson)

Glen Cove officials say a series of youth baseball tournaments to be played in the city’s memorial stadium later this year could pump thousands of dollars into parks facility improvements and bring in thousands of visitors.

The Glen Cove City Council on Thursday night unanimously voted to authorize Mayor Reginald Spinello to enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with Tournament City LLC, a Rockland County company that manages tournaments.

Under the terms of a draft agreement with the firm, the city would receive 35 percent of the revenue from the tournaments and Tournament City would receive the rest.

Tom Hopke, a youth programs adviser to the mayor and co-owner of the Long Island Tigers baseball club, said that with at least 10 tournaments planned for this year, the city would gain $50,000 to $60,000, with greater amounts in future years if the number of tournaments increases.

The games would be played at John Maccarone Memorial Stadium, which features eight baseball fields of different sizes, tailored to different age groups. Parks and recreation director Darcy Belyea said money from the tournaments could be used for improvements to the fields. In addition, city officials are discussing whether to build new fields nearby, and if that occurs, revenue could be used for that project, she said.

Tournament City co-owner Joe Clemente, who has helped manage tournaments in New York and New Jersey for the past decade, said he chose Glen Cove as a new tournament site because of its location and amenities.

Some tournament sites are somewhat isolated, giving families of players — many of whom travel long distances — little to do besides watch games, he said. But Glen Cove has beaches, marinas and summer concerts, is a short drive from other Long Island attractions such as Bayville Adventure Park, and is within driving distance of New York City and the Hamptons.

“We wanted a destination venue where people can come and almost use it as a vacation, too,” he said.

That approach also will help local businesses, Spinello said.

“These [tournament families] are people that need a place to stay, that need a place to eat, that need a place to buy sundries, that are really going to get a good look at our community and all of the things we have to offer,” the mayor told council members.

Clemente said the 10 to 15 tournaments in Glen Cove this year will be held from June through the fall. As many as 24 may be scheduled next year. Some will be new tournaments; others will be existing tournaments moved from elsewhere, he said. Most will be qualifying tournaments for regional or national competitions and average 32 to 48 teams, each with 15 players, Clemente said. Most players will be ages 9 to 18.

Belyea said the tournaments will not displace current city programs. The fields — available only for use by permit — are unused much of the time.

JOHN MACCARONE MEMORIAL STADIUM

  • Eight baseball fields of different sizes tailored to different age groups.
  • Fields can be reconfigured for other sports, including football and soccer.
  • The first fields at the site were constructed in 1947. The park was expanded several times, most recently in 1997.
  • City officials are discussing building additional fields nearby.

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