Under New Management: Purcellville Town Council Awards Fireman’s Field Contract

The Purcellville Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to award a 5-year contract for the operation and maintenance of the Fireman’s Field complex to a partnership of Shaun Alexander Enterprises and Play To Win.

The firms will jointly manage Fireman’s Field, Haske Field, Dillon’s Woods and the Bush Tabernacle. ECHO (Every Citizen Has Opportunities) will be in charge of grounds and facility maintenance.

Shaun Alexander Enterprises is led by the former Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins running back. Play to Win is a regional sports management company that operates the Evergreen Sportsplex youth training center south of Leesburg.

In addition to authorizing Interim Town Manager Alex Vanegas to execute the new contract, the Town Council directed him to terminate the existing contract with the Purcellville Teen Center effective Dec. 29.  The Teen Center is under contract to manage the Bush Tabernacle until October 2020, but did not submit a response to the town’s request for proposals to manage the entire complex.

According to town projections, the first year of the contract should generate at least $89,000 more in annual revenue for the town than the current agreement with the teen center and more than $129,000 more in the fifth year. The teen center currently pays the town $31,200 annually.

Beginning in the third year of the contract, the town will also receive a portion of advertising revenue—10 percent if it’s less than $250,000 and 15 percent if it’s more than $250,000. The two management firms will be responsible for up to $25,000 in maintenance and security costs.

According to Play to Win Founder Chris Bourassa, his company will manage the day-to-day operations of the complex while Alexander and his team will handle the finances and develop new programming. Bourassa said the first goal is to make the town-owned complex more attractive.

“We’re going to do some initial kind of cleanup activities,” he said. “It won’t be overnight.”

Alexander said he would try to keep the old feel of the complex while adding in new programs.

“I’m going to love coming up with great ideas that kind of give these kids something,” he said. “It’s going to be beautiful to pull it all together and have all this great community and great energy to come and make something sweet.”

Councilman Ryan Cool, who took the lead in managing the RFP process and review of the proposal, said the contract with the two firms would include language from the town’s initial request for information and proposal, in addition to a few enhancements. He also said the Upper Loudoun Little League and Upper Loudoun Youth Football League would continue their activities in the complex as usual.

The announcement of the new management ends an eight-month process in which the town initially received responses from four firms interested in managing all or part of the complex. Most recently, meetings were held on Oct. 24 and Nov. 8 to negotiate the contract with the final two bidders.

“We’re going to be here for a long time,” Alexander said. “It’s going to be sweet.”

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