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Posted on October 20, 2017 at 10:39 AM by Darren Musselwhite
promised the citizens of Southaven in 2013, I have reviewed all City
operations, including facilities, and recommended changes where needed to
improve our city from an aggregate perspective. Specifically, I have communicated
the importance of revitalizing the original business district in our city.
This is one of the most challenging tasks for any city and does not
happen overnight, but it starts by simply creating more interest and bringing
more customers back to the area. No single thing does this, but all contribute
to a larger picture. One piece of this plan is better use of our Arena. This
facility was built to be a horse/rodeo/western sport facility years ago. This
never materialized for the City, so it is now used sparingly for assemblies,
flea markets, and trade shows. My assessment is that this awesome facility is
grossly under-utilized and could do much more for our city.
have listened, researched, and contemplated many potential uses and cannot
write every thought process here, but believe the best use of the facility is
for volleyball. Volleyball offers great opportunities for young ladies and has
great demand. It will bring a tremendous increase in activity to our Arena and
customers for revitalization with both weekend events and weekday league and
training. This is my recommendation to our Board of Aldermen. This has not been
is a proposal from a local Desoto County organization named Desoto Legacy to
help us start the program. Many questions have been asked, so I hope to
answer directly as follows...
proposal is for DL to pay the City $5,500 monthly in exchange for exclusive use
of 4 courts. They will operate the City's first league and coordinate weekend
tournaments for the City. All 7 courts will be used for tournaments, but at all
other times 3 will be open to the public with no usage fee. During league
events, all 7 will be used for our public league. The league will have a fee
similar to other sports leagues ($45-$55 for residents, $90 for others). DL
keeps tourney entry fees and pays referees. City gets gate and concession
revenue. The season is from October-May. This agreement benefits the City by
not hiring new personnel and having immediate access to knowledgeable instructors.
The contract itself generates more revenue than other current uses. Tourism and
revitalization benefits are in addition to this.
City manages facility and retains general authority of the facility's usage and
league, but allows designated courts and weekends for tourneys.
will attempt to allow as many current events as possible that do not conflict
with volleyball. Examples: Crystal Ball, Veteran's Luncheon, others that do not
involve driving vehicles on the floor. The floor can withstand foot traffic,
but not the weight of automobiles. Covers do not change this. Most others can
be accommodated at other city facilities.
floor is removable, but not practical to do frequently due to manpower, cost,
and decreased life expectancy with wear and tear. It consists of over 40,000
pieces. The most notable challenge is flea market events 12 times annually. It
will be difficult to hold these events from October-May during the peak
opportunities for volleyball tourneys. This is workable during the other
months of the year. These challenges are also temporary as leveling the Arena
floor may allow enough space to accommodate most without floor removal. I
recommend this project as soon as funding is available and hopefully by 2019.
proposed term of the contract is January 1, 2018 until May 31, 2020 with an
option to terminate after May 31, 2018.
summary and as I have stated publicly, I recommend that volleyball start in our
City operation. We can certainly make changes and improve the operation as we
gain experience with this new venture. The contract allows for
as we consider change and blazing a new trail, I will remind everyone that it
is impossible to make decisions that serve every person's preference, but I make
recommendations on what I assess to benefit the City from an aggregate
perspective and hope everyone will join me in seeing a bigger picture.
let perfect be an enemy to good."