New management to be announced for Sports Force Park

Published 6:49 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A new operator is coming to Vicksburg’s Sports Force Park, it was announced during Monday’s regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Ward 2 Alderman Alex Monsour has been a major part of the park’s development from the beginning and said Tuesday he is excited about introducing the new management company at the city’s next board meeting Monday, March 11.

“I started the process (for the park) when I was in the House of Representatives,” Monsour explained. “We passed a 2 percent sales tax, hotels and restaurants. That started the process, and then the mayor and the Board of Aldermen got involved. I came here in 2017 and we actually broke ground. It’s a nice facility. It’s one of the nicest ones in the southeast.”

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Monsour said the park’s operations have changed hands over the last several years, leading to the agreement that will be finalized prior to Monday’s meeting.

“Sports Force was bought out by Ripken sports a while back and what facilitated that was, in 2021, the owner of Sports Force passed away,” he said. “That caused them to restructure. Fast forward to last year, we got a phone call that they had not acquired Vicksburg. We were going through the process of doing our due diligence where they could operate in Vicksburg. In January, we got another phone call and they’ve restructured, lost some people, got someone else coming in, and said they just notified us we probably need to be looking, because we probably need to set the summer up with another company.”

Monsour said he believes the unforeseen changes in management will ultimately leave both the park and the City of Vicksburg better positioned to accommodate those who utilize the facilities.

“We went full blast and I want to thank (Sports Force and Ripken) for what they’ve done for the City of Vicksburg,” he said. “But they decided, so we went to work and we found a couple of companies and we’re going to have the one we’ve chosen come in Monday of next week and do a presentation, and I think everybody is going to be happy with what we have done. This company has more sports regions in it; they deal with some companies Sports Force didn’t. This is going to be better for Vicksburg. It’s going to be better for the city, because I think we’re going to save some money and I think we’re also going to gain a company that’s more diversified.”

Sports Force Park is open to the public, but also hosts multiple tournaments throughout the year for both local and out-of-town teams. Monday’s announcement will be held during the 10 a.m. board meeting held at the Robert M. Walker Building, located at 1415 Walnut Street in Vicksburg.