SPEARFISH - When the new $1.5 million Spearfish sports complex north of town opens, it will be with the help of a sponsor, Black Hills Corp.
In exchange for a contribution of $200,000, Black Hills Corp. has been granted naming rights for the complex and its four fields.
The complex will be called the Black Hills Corporation Sports Complex, with proposed field names of FiberCom South Diamond, FiberCom North Diamond, Black Hills Power Soccer 1 and Black Hills Power Soccer 2.
Black Hills Corp.'s request in Spearfish received unanimous approval Monday from the Spearfish City Council.
Kyle White, Black Hills Corp.'s vice president of corporate and governmental affairs, and Dave Rogers of the youth-baseball association made a formal presentation to the council Monday.
The proposed agreement states that Black Hills Corp. will donate $200,000 through annual installments of $20,000, beginning in 2003.
The company will have perpetual naming rights for the complex and its four fields.
The agreement allows for promotional rights to signs and advertising within the sports complex - with sign costs to be the responsibility of Black Hills Corp. - as well as providing certain restrictions for pro-motion of other related businesses.
Black Hills Corp. also has committed to jointly planning a grand opening, with contributions up to $3,000.
"I do believe this is the first time Black Hills Power/Black Hills FiberCom/Black Hills Corp. has entered into a partnership with the city of this nature," Tom Berry of Black Hills Corp. said. "We feel it's a great opportunity for us to help out the city of Spearfish as well as baseball, soccer and softball in and around the city."
"We had issued a challenge to the sports people to put up funds to help the city with the project," city finance officer Beth Benning said. "The city had put up about $1.1 million, and we asked them to come up with some money as well. They were the ones that approached Black Hills Corporation seeking funds - and they did a fine job."
Benning said the concept for the complex has been in the works for many years. The specifics started coming into play three or four years ago, and the project now is being done in phases.
"When all is said and done, the sports complex will cost about $1.5 million, plus or minus," Benning said.
The fields were seeded last fall and are expected to be ready for play in 2003 or the spring of 2004.
The complex will have a baseball field for American Legion play, a girls' softball field and two soccer fields.
"This is great from the standpoint of economic development as well," Benning said, pointing out that state tournaments already are lined up for soccer and for American Legion baseball.
Among other fields in Spear-fish are the Pope and Talbot fields on College Lane and the adult-softball fields on South Dakota Way. Pope and Talbot Inc. owns the land with the baseball and soccer fields, and leases it to the city for $1 for 25 years.
The adult fields are on property owned by Black Hills State University, with a lease agreement of $1 for 25 years as well.
That complex originally was built with help from land and water conservation-grant funds and volunteer time, labor and equipment.
Spearfish Mayor Jerry Krambeck said: "I'm elated that Black Hills Corp. came forth with this type of proposal. For the size of our community, it was a wonderful amount of money. What more can you say when someone offers up a deal like this? We think it's good for the future."
In 2000, a naming-rights deal that Soccer Rapid City struck with Black Hills Corp. at Sioux Park fell through when the Rapid City School Board said only the district had authority to grant the rights.
Questions or comments? Contact reporter Jan Kaus at 642-8822 Ext. 11, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.