There's an item on a loaded meeting agenda for the Newton Recreation Commission that is bigger than it looks.
It's listed as No. 2 under action items for the noon July 21 meeting at the activity center, 415 Poplar.
“Approval to extend KSHSAA State 8 Man FB Championships.”
It comes after a budget hearing, and update on a meeting with Grand Central happening today and a construction update on a bathroom and concession facility at Kelsch Field.
The football championships, hosted at Fischer Field in Athletic Park, are big business for the Rec.
“We bring in several thousand dollars that weekend,” said Brian Bascue, superintendent of the Newton Recreation Commission. “.. It brings a lot of people into our community. Depending on the teams and years, we can have 4,000 to 5,000 people in that weekend. It is a big event. It is fun to run.”
And there is a change coming. For the first year, those championships will move to Thanksgiving weekend.
“There were a couple of schools that proposed moving that. The first week of playoffs they play two games. With this, they will play only one game each week,” Bascue said.
That could lead to some issues for the title games — for example, the games are less likely to end up on television. When the games were played the weekend before Thanksgiving, they were the only title games played statewide.
“My concern is they are going to cut their throats with media coverage. They were the only game in the state on that Saturday. Now, they will be competing with other divisions. Everyone will be going that day,” Bascue said.
He is also a little bit concerned what the shift, to a holiday weekend, will mean for Rec Center staff and the recruitment of volunteers for the event.
“It takes a lot of people to run that.”
Still, it is an event he said the Rec wants to keep on the calendar and in Newton — and he believes Newton is the destination teams are looking for.
“The eight man communities love coming to Newton. It is the perfect size for their game, and it has the turf. They enjoy coming here and playing here.,” Bascue said. “It is a facility that we take for granted every day, but it is an amazing facility. “
The NRC is given 20 percent of tticket and program sales, a percentage of t-shirt sales and has rights to all concession sales as well. In the past, the NRC has allowed Newton High School groups to operate concessions for the event.
The fund collected from tickets and other sales by the NRC is placed in the organization's general fund.
Other agenda items for the commission July 21 include a budget hearing, though it is likely there will not be a mill levy figure available. The mill levy is normally calculated by USD 373, which is the taxing entity for the Rec. Due to delays by state agencies and a pending supreme court ruling on school funding, software for budgeting by school districts is not yet available — leading to delays to the process.
Also on the agenda will be staff reports, financial reports, a review of a strategic plan and an appointment to the public building commission. There will be a period for public comment.