The high demand for sporting venues is creating problems for teams in the community.
Between Pop Warner football, little league baseball, soccer and adult league softball, some teams are not getting the proper time and space for practice or league games as hundreds of players are vying for space.
At present, Petrack Park is considered the largest park in the town that serves as a venue for organized sporting events.
The park has two lighted softball fields, one 300’x210’ turf multi-purpose field, and two lit tennis and basketball courts.
Ian Deutch Memorial Park (formally Honeysuckle) is another 20-plus acre park in town.
The facility serves as the main park for little league and soccer.
There are four main fields with lighting at the facility.
On the issue of space at Petrack Park, Buildings and Grounds Manager Matt Luis said he has received a lot of feedback from coaches who regularly use the site for their events.
Luis also said one section of the park that was recently fitted with lights is being underutilized.
“They have several different teams practicing at the same time and a lot of it has to do with scheduling. We do have a lighted soccer field with goals. We put some money into those lights and if we could get some people over there to use Field “C”, it justifies the expense. It is a little ways from the heart of the park but it is suitable,” he said.
The buildings and grounds manager said at least one group had concerns about the condition of the turf on Field C.
“Pop Warner doesn’t want to go over there. The comment I got was that the grass was too rough,” he said.
Pahrump Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chair Dave Clausen said much of the problem stems from the fact that some teams and leagues have schedules that overlap and thus overwhelm the facilities in the valley.
At times, there are instances where teams from two different sports are forced the share the same field while practicing.
“At Ian Deutch Park, little league has it from March through July and the parks are just booked. We are probably at 495 players on the soccer fields this year and about 380 for the little league teams. There is a year-round travel team for baseball and they want to use our fields. It’s kind of hard having a baseball team practicing the same time as a soccer team in the outfield but it’s been working out so far,” he said.
Luis, meanwhile, said there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that would benefit all.
“There are other leagues who have expressed an interest in going year-round and with the field space that we have right now, we can’t make it happen. That’s why it’s so important to get the fairgrounds/soccer fields completed. That is our main goal out there. If we can get six fields going out there, we can take soccer off of these fields and open up baseball year-round. We are struggling to create desperately needed playing space for the teams,” he said.
Clausen also spoke about the possibility of creating additional tourist dollars from teams who routinely travel from out of town to participate in sporting events in Pahrump.
“When you look at soccer and baseball, and when you create the ability to have year-round facilities, then you bring in tourism. With soccer, we could have a 64-team tournament and that brings in all of the parents and boosts the economy. It not only enhances the sport itself, it enhances the economy if we get people from all over to compete in Pahrump. Bullhead City for example is one of the regions in our area which has a tournament that hosts 132 teams and that alone generates $35,000 in profit for the region,” he said.
The advisory board will approach the town board with options and suggestions about the space issue during an upcoming board meeting.