Back in January, I filed an open records request seeking documents relating to the Reverchon Park ballfield negotiations with Reverchon Park Sports & Entertainment LLC.
This initial trove is almost entirely official documents between last December and January and doesn’t include what I assume is the richer vein of email traffic between stakeholders (assume that’s what the Texas Attorney General is deciding on). But there is additional detail here than has been easily seen before. I’ve chunked it into categories.
This is another catch up as the city provided these files before I’d left town.
Design and construction: $15 million
Schedule of Approvals And Construction
The date of city council approval set into motion a series of milestone dates.
- Before the city council vote in January 2020, Reverchon Park Sports and Entertainment (RPSE) had to prove they had funds to create the design.
- Before January 2021 (12 months after the January 2020 approval) RPSE has to prove they have construction funds in place. (I hear that fundraising is ongoing and facing unknown consequences of the lawsuit.)
- Also before January 2021, RPSE must have an approved design and commence construction
- No later than June 2022 RPSE must have completed construction (18-months after design approval and construction start). However, RPSE is seeking for faster completion.
Why the rush to approve?
“…if the agreement was not approved before January 2020, RPSE was concerned that this would affect the permitting process and delay them beyond their start date for baseball league play in 2021. A delay of two months as proposed at the December meeting would place RPSE in a position of not being able to begin the permitting process until possibly April or May and would then put the timeline for beginning construction behind schedule. We have assured RPSE the City’s permitting process will be completed in a timely manner to meet their opening needs.”
- Jon’s Translation: Although it mentions January 2020, Park Board president Calvert Collins-Bratton thinks these dates reflect city council approving the project back in October. Either way, they’re looking to move quickly.
Nelson’s group will hold public and stakeholder meetings during design process. Community Meetings: Must be posted on RPSE’s website 30-days in advance. Parks will post meeting dates/times on their website also and at the Reverchon Rec Center. They will also hold meetings with Friends of Reverchon and Friends of Katy Trail – no word on resident groups.
- Jon’s Translation: Similar to how things have gone so far, there will be little/no proactive outreach to the neighborhood. Since they want to begin permitting before as soon as possible to make the 2021 season, this is going to happen fast. Concerned neighbors will have to keep hitting “refresh” on their web browsers to see when the meetings pop up.
- Being unable to find the RPSE website, I sent a note to Park Board president Calvert Collins-Bratton asking is she knew the address and any meeting dates. It’s not up and running yet and she doesn’t “believe any public meetings have been scheduled yet, but RPSE is creating an advisory board (as Councilman Blewett’s amendment required)”.
Events Types And Frequency:
- Professional Baseball: 50 from May to September
- Professional Soccer: 14-16 uses March to September
- Professional Rugby: 10-12 uses January to June
- Professional Lacrosse: 2 uses from June to September
- Concerts: 6-12 per year
- PKR Youth Leagues: 20-30 uses March to November
- Community Events (races, festivals) and Holiday Events
- Existing users such as DISD, North Texas Amateur Baseball League, Mexican Amateur Baseball League and Dallas Veterans Baseball league
Hourly fees to remain same at $31/hour day and $61/hour evening
- Jon’s Translation: Not counting “Community Events” and “Existing users” there are between 102 and 122 for-profit events earmarked for the Reverchon ballfield. However, elsewhere in the documents it states that ballfield play currently averages 180 games per year and that’s expected to increase to 280 per year. There will be days with multiple events.
Elsewhere in the documents it’s stated that they expect 1,356,650 attendees for 656 (ticketed) events in the first 5 years. This breaks down to an average of 2,068 attendees per paid event and 131 events per year or 2.5 per week. Even if current events packed the ballfield’s 700 seats, this represents an average tripling of event attendance.
There are currently 30 parking spaces and no new parking will be constructed. However, “RPSE projects that over 50% of attendees to the ball games and other events will walk/bike into the park from the surrounding neighborhoods.”
That still leaves over 1,000 attendees on average who will likely drive to each event with 30 on-site parking spaces available. To deal with this, documentation said that they’re “Developing agreements with:
- Scottish Rite: 850+ spaces
- 3500 Maple/Parkside Tower: 600 spaces
- Concord 2/Balfour Beatty: 600 spaces
- Jon’s Translation: While this seems like plenty of spaces, it’s safe to assume not all spaces will be available at all times. I don’t know Scottish Rite’s traffic patterns, but the two commercial buildings would likely only be available evenings and weekends. The neighborhood should ensure that event planning coincides with parking availability.
Earlier versions of the agreement included a percentage (four percent) of net concession revenues. Before the January city council approval’s last-minute increases in city revenue, the deal offered the city $30,000 or $0.25 per ticket for the first 4 years. In year five forward that increased to $0.50 per ticket or $60,000. RPSE estimated over 50% of all seats will cost under $10/each.
- Jon’s Translation: It seems odd that the city would give away concession revenues and very odd that they were on net revenues instead of gross.
Why was “Ballfield” changed to “Athletic field”?
“The second RFP issued in 2019 included other uses outside of baseball to allow for the opportunity of the awardee to maximize opportunities for revenue generation through events.”
Landscaping And Trees
None of the trees surrounding the existing ballfield are suitable for transport and Arborist Jonathan Johnson recommends their removal and replacement with trees matching the total caliper inches lost. However, given the ballfield construction and its open space requirements, this “may be difficult to do at Reverchon Park itself.”
However there are potential floodplain issues if the outfield extends even five feet beyond the existing fence due to “significant tree removal” and “require fill dirt right up to the edge of the current channel of Turtle Creek”.
Impacts To The Park’s Master Plan
“If the Project Site Plan does not meet the intent of the current Master Plan, the Proposer shall provide a new Master Plan showing the current and proposed facilities, parking, traffic and associated land uses throughout Reverchon Park. The master plan design team and design must be approved by the Owner (City of Dallas). There must also be a minimum of two public meetings to receive community input.
- Jon’s Translation: RPSE has to meet the 2006 Master Plan – unless it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, the city will almost certainly change the plan. Note that MESA developed the 2006 Master Plan and is also developing RPSE’s plans.
”…the Proposer may sell alcohol (with acquired permit), food, and snacks on game days and at special events, utilizing appropriate permits and licenses. Revenue from these sales will be used to operate and maintain the facility. (Prior version saw city get a cut of net concession revenues, now they don’t.).
“RPSE will also take into consideration noise concerns when scheduling its events such as limitations on the time of day.”
- Jon’s Translation: “Taking into consideration” isn’t a promise of a solution. It’s the equivalent of hearing “Your call is very important to us, please continue to hold…”
While this information dump revealed little, there are some interesting tidbits here. The most important, given the timetable, is to pay close attention to those community meetings. From the look of things, neighbors will have to be vigilant in looking for the notices.
For those who want to see the whole file. Click here.