City Council seeks balance in tournament scheduling

The City of Miles City is trying to find an even balance between the Miles City Youth Baseball Association (MCYBA) and the 406 Baseball Academy/Outlaw Baseball Club’s tournament scheduling.

The 406 Baseball Academy operates in the fall and spring and the Outlaws play in the summer.

At Tuesday’s Miles City Council meeting, city officials discussed how to host the Continental Amateur Baseball Association’s (CABA) world series for 14-year olds, which is the tournament the Outlaw Baseball Club’s league will host, and the American Legion Baseball state or regional tournaments, which is the MCYBA/Miles City Mavericks’ league. 

Those tournaments are held in August.

The Public Service Committee recommended the council approve 406 Baseball’s scheduling for next year before committing to a multi-year contract. CABA is asking for three 10-year contracts.

Dr. Jeff Williams has agreed to reschedule the Miles City Maltfest to avoid a conflict. Williams organizes the Maltfest.

Public Utilities Director Scott Gray said 406 Baseball has to prove it can host the 16-team tournament for one year.

Within the next five years the MCYBA may have the opportunity to host a state and/or a regional tournament.

“We wanted to see if they can host this for one year, make sure it works out, and then could go into negotiations after that, with both organizations for the future,” Gray explained.

He said that even one 10-year tournament commitment “is a lot to bite off especially when they haven’t even hosted this tournament.”

If they want to hold it for more than one year, it has to work for both organizations, he said.

Gray said the city has to look for a way to be fair to both organizations. 

He said MCYBA is the permitted user, therefore they have first rights to Connors Stadium. 

If the MCYBA is awarded the state tournament that first week of August, then CABA would have to hold its tournament on another weekend and be flexible with the dates..

“We need to make sure that this isn’t causing a conflict with one organization or the other and allow both groups to host tournaments,” Gray said. 

“A contract of this magnitude and time frame has to get council approval,” Mayor John Hollowell said of the CABA tournament.

He said a businessman spoke in favor of the CABA tournament. The man told the mayor “it is kind of like three shots in the arm for the economy,” when you consider the Bucking Horse Sale and the Mavericks’ tournament.

Hollowell said moving the tournament a week or two didn’t seem to phase the CABA group, but they do schedule months ahead of time. 

MCYBA’s Tim Regan said his organization will bid on the state tournament in 2018. That process starts in mid-March. Then they are trying to get a regional tournament. 

He expressed concern about finding a place to practice before the state tournaments (wherever they are located) when multiple local parks are being used for the tournament.