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More parents join fight against higher field fees in Las Vegas

Michael Lopardi

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

More parents join fight against higher field fees in Las Vegas

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED May 23, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- More parents are joining the fight against higher fees for youth sports in Las Vegas.

The city is about to start charging more for athletic fields. Some parents worry that will leave fields empty.

"My big concern is the kids won't be allowed to play little league," said Doug Staubs.

Staubs's 11-year-old son plays little league at Mountain Ridge Park.

"I understand the city needs to make cuts. I understand they need to raise revenue and they need to raise money but there are a lot of other areas they can go to," Staubs said.

The hike in fees will include a new, $10 an hour fee for lights beginning in August. By next March, field fees for league games will increase from $3 an hour to $10. Tournament games will cost even more. 

Thousands of players use the fields every year. Staubs said the increases may not seem like a lot but could leave some families paying hundreds more.

"A lot of these parents aren't going to be able to afford to send their kids to play baseball," Staubs said.

Action News first started looking for answers after hearing from parents earlier this month. Now, a petition is in circulation asking the city to reconsider.

The city said the increase in revenue is needed to help offset maintenance costs, which total about $10 million a year. The hike is expected to generate another $1 million in revenue. The city said it currently takes in about $1 million in fees from the fields.

"If, in fact, we want to continue to keep our fields at the pristine levels they are right now, everyone has to do their part," said city councilman Ricki Barlow in a May 9 interview.

Staubs said the games keep kids out of trouble.

"They're going to end up on the streets and then there's going to be another problem," said Staubs.

Councilman Steve Ross told Action News on Friday that he's asked city staff to meet with the leagues in hopes of finding a compromise.

Parents are hoping to finish their petitions by the end of May.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.