Residents and nonresidents interested in using Pearland's public sports fields will have to pay higher fees after the City Council approved raising rates to avoid overcrowding and support maintenance efforts.

The gist

The changes were unanimously approved at the council's April 22 meeting. Officials said the raised rates will help the city serve the recreational and competitive needs of teams while also recovering facility upkeep costs.

Despite the growth of Pearland’s athletic complexes, such as the Hickory Slough expansion, the city’s sports facility usage fees have not kept pace with demand from local and visiting sports teams, according to agenda documents.

The city’s parks and recreation department met with other agencies in the Greater Houston area, as well as private sports industry consultant Sports Facilities Advisors, to conduct a market analysis and make recommendations to align athletic policies and fees with industry best practices, according to agenda documents.

Overall, the goal will be to drive economic impact, make the city’s sports facilities more efficient operationally and recover costs for the city.

By the numbers

City staff recommended council approve the following policy and fee changes:
  • Transitioning from a player-based fee to an hourly field-use fee, and removing deposit and utility fee requirements
  • Increasing the fee to practice on a grass field from $15 per hour to $20 per hour for residents, and from $25 per hour to $40 per hour for nonresidents
  • Increasing the fee to practice on a turf field from $30 per hour to $40 per hour for residents, and from $50 per hour to $80 per hour for nonresidents
What’s else?

Earlier this month, the city met with sports organizers in Pearland, such as Pearland Girls Softball Association and Pearland Youth Lacrosse, to discuss the proposed fee changes, Parks and Recreation Director Carrie Capers said.

The department also met with Shadow Creek Soccer Club, which expressed concerns about the fee changes and was asked by the city to propose alternative policies in the upcoming weeks.

“I think it's important that we move on with this, and if somebody has a different proposal, we can talk about that on a grander scale,” Mayor Kevin Cole said.