Reno Convention Center made free for youth sports on smoky days


The Reno-Sparks Convention Center and Reno Events Center will be available to youth sports teams on days with poor air quality.

The Reno-Sparks Conventions and Visitors Authority voted to make two of its facilities available free of charge to youth sports teams on smoky days.

The RSCVA board of directors unanimously approved the proposal at a special meeting on Wednesday, which allows youth teams to use the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and Reno Events Center to train during emergency situations. The proposal was made after the region posted record levels of dangerous air quality in recent days as multiple wildfires burned down in neighboring California.

“It has been a tumultuous time for many people,” said Bob Lucey, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RSCVA.

“The smoke has an impact on many teams in the region. We want to make sure there are options available… for these teams.

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The initiative will prioritize youth sports teams who do not have access to an indoor facility. Activities include cheerleading and outdoor sports, such as soccer and soccer, although indoor sports are also eligible for teams that do not have a dedicated indoor gym.

As part of the initiative, the RSCVA also approved funding of $ 150,000 to cover staff and operating costs of the convention center when the facilities are used for youth sport. The typical cost of operating a convention center room per day is around $ 1,500, said Renee McGinnes, Reno’s general manager for RSCVA entrepreneur ASM Global.

The cost includes housekeeping and cleaning, as well as having a property manager and HVAC engineer on-site. Reservations at the convention center usually take place between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Although use of the facilities is free, teams will be responsible for providing their own equipment. For teams that do not have insurance, which is necessary to use the facilities, the ASM can provide an insurance policy.

Board member Charlene Bybee raised questions about the schedule. In addition to potential conflicts with scheduled events or special circumstances such as the use of the facilities as evacuation centers, Bybee also highlighted the fluid nature of the Air Quality Index as a potential challenge for scheduling. .

“The air quality index changes from day to day, and a lot of these teams will need to update themselves daily,” Bybee said.

Since the lineup is done on a first-come, first-served basis, Bybee also asked if there were measures in place to ensure a team doesn’t rush out early to take all available spots.

In response, Lucey pointed out that ASM will be responsible for the scheduling and fair allocation of slots.

Scheduled events will also take precedence and rooms will only be provided to youth teams when there is free space. As an example, the Red Cross currently occupies a room to accommodate the evacuees of the Caldor fire while the events occupy the remaining rooms, so there will be no additional space available for them. next three days.

Turnaround shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to planning either, McGinnes added.

“We can open a dime to reserve something,” McGinnes said. “If we know it’s the next day or even if it’s the same day, we can book it.

McGinnes, however, warned that, depending on an ongoing event, it might not be possible to schedule a youth team practice even when additional space is available. McGinnes cited a gun show at the center of events as an example.

“Children’s events and gun shows don’t mix,” McGinnes said.

Despite the limitations, several board members agreed that the initiative is necessary to provide young people with the opportunity to participate in sporting activities on days when the air quality is poor.

“These are public facilities and making them available is a good thing,” said Jessica Sferrazza, board member. “Poor air quality is bad air quality and we don’t want our kids to be there. “

Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Do you like this content ? Support local journalism with a RGJ digital subscription.


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