Troy needs to keep its home field advantage
Visualize the field, the lights, the Lions' Club concessions, the grandstands filled with fans. The players on the field are red and white-clad Trojans. It's a Fall Friday night at Alparon Park - the place the Troy High School football team calls home.
But, if the school district and the park board can't come to a fair rental agreement, that could change.
The two have enjoyed a long-standing good relationship. Because the Troy District doesn't have an athletic facility of its own, it pays rent to the park. The school district has also helped the park financially with capital improvement projects that benefited its athletic program. The school district would identify a need at the park, and then both the park and the district would address it and share expenses.
The dilemma this year is that the current lease has expired, and the park has presented the Troy District with a proposed rent increase - one which the school is not willing to pay.
At a time when school districts in general are trying to make financial ends meet, Troy's Athletic Director Che Regina, speaking on behalf of the district, has said the percent of increase is too high. Jeff Bower, president of Alparon Park, thinks the price if fair, citing examples of what the football program gets, such as the grandstand that seats well over 1,000, large parking lots, fencing, field lighting, stadium concession area, athletic field, locker rooms and clean bathrooms.
So, where does this all stand?
According to the minutes of the most recent park board of directors meeting, further negotiation has been refused. The minutes state that a motion was carried to hold to the proposed lease offer by the park.
In the meantime, the Troy School District is looking for out-of-town sites for its home football games.
No decisions have been made.
Both the Troy School District and the Alparon Park board need to think about the community and the kids. As a recent Letter to the Editor in The Review pointed out, Troy students are already short-changed compared to the other schools in the county when it comes to athletic facilities. They should not have to give up their home football field. Negotiations should resume with concessions from both sides.