Macker’s Costs May Make Tournament Too Expensive For City
The Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament is good to have in the city. So it’s good to see City Council members step up to help new tournament organizer Pat Smeraldo keep the tournament in the city for at least another year.
But the tournament’s return comes at a cost – $20,000 in dwindling federal ARPA funding – as well as some benefits to the city in terms of economic benefit to some downtown businesses and hotels. Even more important is the general feeling of activity the downtown tournament brings with it. It’s better to have the tournament than not.
But with the Gus Macker tournament on its third local host organization and in need of $20,000 in outside funding to keep the tournament here, one has to wonder how long the tournament will continue to have a home in Jamestown.
It took some doing to get the tournament back for next year. There was confusion over the pot of money Smeraldo was going to be able to tap into to pay costs that included security, licensing and referees for the tournament, with Smeraldo receiving money for the St. Patrick’s Day event hosted by Smeraldo’s Collaborative Children’s Solution in March when the downtown event fund housed by the Jamestown Local Development Corporation didn’t have enough money for the Macker. Council members Tony Dolce, Kim Ecklund, Andrew Faulkner and Jeff Russell spearheaded an effort to award ARPA funding and bring the tournament back – albeit on a different date.
What happens in future years? ARPA funding won’t be available forever. And organizations like The Resource Center, The Post-Journal and Collaborative Children’s Solutions can’t bring the Gus Macker back year after year if the tournament doesn’t at least break even.
So if Gus Macker officials want to keep the tournament in Jamestown, then Macker officials need to help local officials find a way to bring down costs. Or else, the benefits to downtown may not outweigh the costs.