Published in the Iola Register on Oct. 25, 2013.

Letter to the Editor 10-25-13

Dear Editor,
 Last Thursday, a group of young people worked along with city employees to lay out 4,000 sq. feet of sod on Meats Field at the Concordia Sports Complex. The City paired up with USD 333 to make it another top tier field for competition. These upgrades not only increase the safety of the fields, but expand our opportunities to host quality tournaments. We often focus on the costs associated with sports programs or field upgrades, but it is important to realize the economic impact the Sports Complex has on our community.
 This year, approximately 24,390 people attended an event at the Complex, including 5800 out-of-town guests. The average amount spent per visitor in 2011 was $236 per trip, equaling $1,368,800.  From t-ball to college ball, this great American game makes a big impact on our retail sales in the County. This upgraded field will only increase these numbers as time goes on.
 The project we worked on last week was not the only thing happening at the Complex. The City has paired up with the County Commissioners and Wind Farm money to build bathrooms at the softball field, with the Optimist Club for new bathrooms at Rasure Field, and with the Booster Club for a new batting cage.
As a coach, I feel very lucky to be in a community who care so much about their youth.
 Thank you to the city employees, city commissioners, USD 333, county commissioners, Booster Club, Optimist Club, players, parents, coaches and community members who make it all possible.
                                  Sincerely,
                                  Brandt Hutchinson
                                  CHS Baseball Coach