Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hayden hoop prices may shoot up

Staff Writer | April 27, 2021 1:00 AM

The city of Hayden said the cost of repeating the success of its March youth basketball tournament will require a price hike in teams’ entrance fees.

The city is proposing a price increase for teams to enter into youth and adult recreation tournaments from $175 to $315. Suzy Cano, community services director for the city of Hayden, said the proposed spike is the unfortunate but inevitable cost of merely breaking even.

“That original fee was from several years ago,” Cano said of the $175. “Since then, the cost of everything has gone up. Referee costs have gone up. Staff costs have gone up. We have to pay $11 per hour for the gym; when we first started, we didn’t even pay anything.”

Those referee costs, for example, have climbed in the past decade. Cano estimated the wage of a referee from the mid-2000’s ranged between $15 to $18 per game. Today, that same referee will cost the city between $25 to $30.

A search of prices around the Northwest puts the cost of a referee for a basketball game anywhere between $45 and $75 a piece.

Cano also stressed that, if having to choose between paying $25 and paying $30, paying the $30 provides a much higher value.

“When you have a tournament, you want to have referees that have some experience,” she said. “That experience costs more.”

But that cost also pays dividends. Cano said the inaugural Battle Of The Rims youth basketball tournament in March delivered overwhelming positive responses from the community.

“We got so much good feedback,” she said. “A lot of parents said, ‘We’re so glad there’s a local tournament,’ and, ‘The referees did a good job.’ The refs loved it. That’s what we’re looking for: putting together quality events that the community can be proud of.”

Mayor Steve Griffitts said he is proud of Hayden’s sports community and the city’s involvement in developing a rec program that can produce events like Battle Of The Rims, noting that the brunt of both the current and proposed costs will not all come at the expense of Hayden residents.

“The city of Hayden has been in the forefront of promoting sports within our extended community,” Griffitts said. “Many of those who participate are living outside of the Hayden city boundaries. The fees that the city of Hayden charge cover the cost of the program only.”

Tournaments, open gyms and leagues also require staff time, which Cano said has also climbed in the last decade from a minimum wage of around $7 per hour toward an hourly price tag closer to $10. The increased costs of the gym supervisor and the $11 per hour for the gym space at Dalton Elementary, for example, compelled the city to include a price hike on open gym participation from $3 per session to $4 into the proposal.

Cano said the price hike is necessary just to keep events like Battle Of The Rims available.

“When you factor in supplies, awards, staff, gym space: I had to come up with a figure that would be fair and would cover the program costs,” Cano said. “So I went back to the drawing board and found the dollar amount that would keep these projects going.”

The city will hold a public hearing on the proposed fee schedule increase at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Hayden City Hall.

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