Good News on the Horizon for Scharbauer Sports Complex

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND--The Midland City Council has voted to let someone else take over marketing, promotions and management of the facility.  As it turns out, it's a group that's been there since the complex was built.

Anyone who lives in Midland and has been following the history of the sports complex knows the income generated and the expense to run it, haven't exactly been on an even playing field.  Now that the city has voted to let Midland Sports Incorporated take the reigns, everyone is hoping all that will soon change.

According to Midland Rockhounds General Manager, Monty Hoppel, "We're here, already running the facility, so we already have on site people. Not only that, we can do it a lot cheaper."

Hoppel tells NewsWest 9, going into this one year agreement with the City of Midland is going to bring positive results, mainly since they're now contracted to do things they've been doing since they moved into the ballpark.

"We've been the risk taker. We've been doing a lot of promotions, like the All-Star games, the Olympic girls game and a lot of special events, because that is what we do. The Rockhounds have always brought in a major concert and brought in special events. We just want to expand on that," Hoppel explained.

At a cost of $68,000 per year, Hoppel says the city is starting off the partnership with a grand slam, "They were paying over $100,000 in the previous contract."

Along with the initial savings, the Rockhounds are planning more advertising and promotions designed to bring more people and events to the Scharbauer Sports Complex.

"We're going to add a lot more resources. We've got some great data bases of people who come to the complex. We've got relationships with promoters and relationships with high school coaches," Hoppel commented.

Hoppel says, not a lot of people realize the economic impact the complex has had on the city. He added, that's another area they hope to work on, "Our job will be, as we book events and even talk about what's been booked, we'll show what a tremendous asset and what a tremendous economic impact this facility has had over the years."

The plan of action is to bring in more events, watch expenses and generate more revenue.  Because of certain tax laws, the agreement can only come one year at a time.

Hoppel says they're in it for the long haul and he's confident, when next year rolls around, the city will be more than ready to go extra innings, "Obviously, we're here for a long time, as a tenant, the operators of the baseball team and the soccer team. We think we can improve things. Stuff's not going to happen overnight but we're very confident that what we do, the city's going to like it and renew the contract."

Midland City Officials did not return our calls for an interview.