We have an underutilized, potential gem of a community resource, that if improved, could be combined with the area's natural, agricultural, historical, entertainment/hospitality and educational resources to create an economic development engine that would yield a return many times over. Not to mention it would provide more exercise space for kids and contribute to overall improvement in public health (and boy if we learned anything these past two years, it's that we need more focus on exercise out-of-doors).

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Scott Roth, President/Founder Three Notch'd Brewing Company 4 months ago

Some quick points of economic data that should solidify the decision to upgrade the existing fields to artificial surfaces with lighting.

The city of Richmond reported that the 4 weekends associated with the Jefferson Cup youth soccer tournaments in 2019 were responsible for $25M of economic impact including 32,000 hotel room bookings.

Mason Sports Park (focused more on baseball) in Warren County, Ohio hosts 93 sports events per year, 65 of which are youth events and estimates $27M in direct income to Warren County with a total impact of $38M. In 2017 just 4 tournaments at the park yielded $3M in total economic impact and 5500 hotel rooms.

Lastly, and perhaps the best comp for Darden, Matthews Sportsplex in North Carolina launched phase 1 in 2013 which included 5 synthetic fields, a restroom building, shelter, playgrounds and trails. A Darden Towe clone this facility hosted 17 unique tournaments in 2014/15 that included soccer, rugby, field hockey, and lacrosse showing immediate opportunities for economic impact and the versatility of the fields to accommodate many different sporting events. It should be noted that the same facility added 6 more fields and championship stadium just 4 years later and current estimates have its economic impact around $80M.

https://www.sportsdestinations.com/sports/sports-facilities/sports-facilitieseconomic-impact-20277

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Dargan Coggeshall 4 months ago

And none of the places you list have near the drawing power of our part of the world with historic homes and university, blue ridge parkways and AT, wineries, craft breweries, pedestrian malls, foliage changes, James River, etc. etc. etc.

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alyssa lauren 4 months ago

Accidentally I have come across this website and am a little bit confused about the details shared here. This post gives you details Los Angeles Angels game tickets on how to convert Darden Towe park into an economic development machine. Thank you so much for sharing the information here.

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Adela May 4 months ago

Music transports us to new emotional realms and comforts our hurting souls. Friday Night Funkin is a great game for everyone who like conquering and peppy music.

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Kirk Bowers 3 months ago

No to artificial turf at Darden Towe!!! We do not want an economic engine at Darden Towe. Did you think about the neighborhood and the people who have lived here and paid taxes here for many years? We moved here to get away from the Crowds and traffic of urban life. This is Not Richmond or DC. We've lived here for 35 years and have seen way too much development in the Pantops area.

I have several concerns about the use of artificial turf for soccer fields. It seems like the perfect solution, but the story of artificial turf is not as simple as it sounds. We get so much more from grass than just a splash of color. There are several problems with artificial turf that need consideration for its use, including:

• Artificial turf is a Plastic Rug which looks perfect - at first. It’s essentially an outdoor carpet that is designed to look like a natural plant material. Typically, polyethylene, polyester, polypropylene, nylon, or a hybrid of these different materials is used to make the “blades” of grass. The blades sit on layers developed through primary and secondary padding material, which receives an acrylic coating before being coated by other chemicals, such as polyurethane or latex. • Just like any other rug, it will collect bits and pieces of pet and bird droppings and liquids from humans. It will need raking to fluff up, straightening the fibers, and hosing it down with water. The Turf Council suggests the installation of a manual or automatic irrigation system with artificial turf to improve field sanitation and to make it more comfortable for players in warmer climates. • This requires additional water use for irrigation at a time when water conservation is needed. We don’t know what the future holds for rainfall rates needed to replenish water supplies. Soccer field irrigation would require additional drawdown of water resources. • Eventually, artificial turf needs to be replaced. Some manufacturers claim a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, while industry observers estimate closer to eight years. • Artificial turf is hard, and will hurt if you fall while playing sports. Unlike grass, artificial and will hurt if you fall while playing sports. Unlike grass, artificial turf doesn’t have a cushion underneath it. Even with a sand base, turf can be hard because it becomes compacted without roots and added moisture. • Artificial turf is expensive. Installation costs can range from $5 to $20 a square foot. Grass fields are less expensive for improvement and development. • Artificial turf can get very hot. Surface temperatures of artificial grass are about 20-50° F higher than natural grass and typically reach the same temperature as asphalt pavement. It is not a healthy environment for youth soccer players. • Artificial turf is not Environmentally Friendly. It’s made of plastic and difficult to recycle and reuse. When components break down, it’s possible for the chemicals or plastic materials to escape into the environment. Instead of increasing the life of soil, it compacts soil and creates an inhabitable environment for the living organisms in soil, rendering it unable to grow plant materials. • Artificial turf is not an investment in a lively, beneficial landscape that keeps our climate cool, provides a natural habitat for wildlife, and gives back to the environment that sustains us. Plant materials provide so much more than just aesthetic value. They help improve water and air quality, reduce temperatures, reduce storm water runoff, and provide habitats for animals, insects, bees, and birds.

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Krystal Charles 2 months ago

Hello everybody! Why choose only 1 game type? Here you Go to stickman hook and play the games you likes!

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Sage Bradburn 2 months ago

NO ARTIFICAL TURF SUPERPLEx because FIRST: As the Maryland Soccerplex--which 21 grass and only 3 artificial turf fields--proves you can have a superflex with grass fields; the Virginia Youth Soccer Association's training facility also has more grass than artificial turf fields--both managed by the Natural Grass Advisory Group (the only turf company devoted to organic/natural grass fields). B. Each artificial turf field has a base of multiple layers of plastics--hundreds of square feet--and whether the fill sprinkled on top is made of natural materials like wood or synthetic materials--the plastic holds and amplifies heat making it dangerous to use on sunny days when temps rise over 80 (google the article "Synthetic Sports Fields and the Heat Island Effect" summarizing the research); C. the manufacturer and transport (to the field and back to the dump--it CANNOT BE RECYCLED in North America, you'd have to ship it to one of 2 turf recycling companies in Europe) greatly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change and contribute to the extreme weather threatening our food supply, economies, property and lives (see the NOAA report on the drastic increase of costs of extreme weather disasters in 2021 over previous years); and, like Kirk says above, our community is beautiful and precious because it's history, diverse and vibrant community, local artisans, the university, agriculture (including scenic vineyards), countryside and mountains. Bringing a sportsplex, and more chain hotels and chain eateries and traffic--it's just so much trash--leave the sportplex's to communities that lack such historical and natural significance--or who simply don't appreciate the one's they do have.

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Dargan Coggeshall 2 months ago

Sage, you obviously don't have kids or kids who aspire to be athletes in sports that require controlled surfaces on which to play. The amount of usage days (really only certain hours on certain days) due to the possibility of extreme heat (usually in the heart of the summer when most sports leagues are not active), pales in comparison to the weeks lost each year due to unplayable conditions on the few (and crappy) natural surfaces we have in this town. I've seen artificial turf sports complexes all over the country either schedule around peak heat times, or take more frequent water breaks during competition to protect athletes. Also, your last sentence reeks of elitism. As if the children of our community are supposed to NOT aspire to be competitive athletes (and all the health and personal development benefits that come with it), since they are able to stroll the historic grounds of UVa and go to the tasting rooms of our local vineyards and shop at the farmer's market on Saturday.

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Sage Bradburn 2 months ago

Dargan, your first assumption is incorrect--my son and I both ran competitively and trained on tracks, controlled surfaces that amplified heat (actually, my son didn't run his senior year because the spring heat was so intense in 2020 and 2021). I'm motivated to protect our kids (yours and mine) from the extreme heat, pollution, and climate hazards that my generation never faced, after observing that local and state high school practices and competitions have been cancelled or rescheduled at greater rates over the last 4 years--not during the summer, but during the spring and fall seasons, due to extreme heat advisories. Artificial turf amplifies the problems--see the 2018 Daily Progress story about a Monticello High School student who almost died during an 8-10am practice on artificial turf when the heat index in C'ville only 83 degrees, but 107-127 on the field, for an example). I want your kids, all kids, to enjoy sports and have great facilities and have learned that many communities who have worked with organic/grass turf specialists like the Natural Grass Advisory Group--have fields that are more durable (under extreme weather and intense play)--in OH, PA, and MA (for info and case studies, google "TURI Resources: Playing Fields and Playgrounds" and the "Natural Grass Advisory Group"). The assumption that the choice is between shabby grass and perfect artificial fields is based on a false dichotomy. Your comment about my elitism would be funny it it weren't for your animosity and presumption: I can't afford to send my kid to UVA, go to wineries, or shop at farmer's markets--I actually can't even afford to live here anymore--but I've lived here for over 40 years and am sad to see how Charlottesville is starting to look more like Northern VA, or anywhere USA, over-developed and congested. It seems like we both have kids and a town we love, though we have different ideas of what best suits them.

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Dargan Coggeshall 2 months ago

Sage, in this community it is not a false dichotomy. Every public artificial surface is years past its useful life (and I would say approaching hazardous), and every natural grass surface is beyond shabby and not suitable for use outside of casual recreation and dog walking, and none of these are lit which makes use impractical during many winter season school days (dark at 5pm). Our parks & rec and public schools have shown no ability to be good stewards of our natural surfaces. BTW, the comparison of a sport like track & field and soccer are orders of magnitude apart when it comes to resources needed and participation rates. When it comes to analyzing risk to our kids, I take a very practical (and measurable) approach, versus fear-based and anecdotal. It is statistically more likely for my children to suffer a catastrophic injury in commuting to tournaments outside of our area (where they have athletic facilities capable of hosting such) or due to trauma suffered in the contract sport competition itself, than any heat-related harm that might come from the occasional high surface temps, yet I still let them commute and participate. I get it that you're likely anti-artificial turf, anti-development, and anti-growth (maybe even anti-business), but you don't have to cloak it in child welfare, since as good parents, we still let our children do many riskier things than playing on a hot athletic surface. Sorry you thought I was making an assumption about your ability to afford something, I was just stating the children in our community should not have to suffer because we have attractions beyond sports complexes. peace,

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board games at June 28, 2022 at 9:46pm EDT

We play poppy playtime much these days. There's a simple reason for this: our kids are older now.

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