MARSHALL — Over the past couple of years, it’s gotten harder for the city of Marshall to find people to sell concessions at the city’s new softball fields. Parks Superintendent Preston Stensrud said it got to the point where the city had no applicants at all this spring.
However, a local business did want to try running the concession stand this summer. On Tuesday, the Marshall City Council approved a food services agreement with the Hitching Post to be the concessionaire at the Amateur Sports Complex for the rest of 2021.
Jordan Handeland of the Hitching Post said he hoped to get people used to the concession stand being open for softball games this summer, and possibly attract more events to town in the future.
“If this is something that works out, maybe the city can get more, bigger tournaments to Marshall,” Handeland said.
Marshall didn’t have a concessionaire for the Amateur Sports Complex, and the city has staffed the concessions stand since 2018. There were no concessions offered in 2020, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions.
“It’s become increasingly difficult to find staff” for the concessions stand, Stensrud said. This year, applications opened up in February, but the city didn’t get any applicants.
“In March, Jordan reached out and expressed some interest,” Stensrud said. The proposal “definitely has a lot of potential,” he said.
The Amateur Sports Complex will be hosting some softball tournaments over the summer, and it will be important to have concessions available, he said.
The concessions agreement with the Hitching Post would run from May 15 through Dec. 31 of this year. Handeland said that would give people time to get used to the concession stand being open, and it would give the Hitching Post a chance to see how things worked out.
Under the agreement, the Hitching Post would sell food and beverages at the Amateur Sports Complex during youth baseball and fast-pitch softball events, and the city would be responsible for utilities.
“(Jordan) brings his staff, his supplies, and cleans up,” Stensrud said. “We don’t have a lot of skin in the game.”
If the agreement is extended beyond 2021, the Hitching Post would pay the city monthly commissions equal to 5% of gross concessions sales.
Handeland said he hoped to attract more tournaments to the Amateur Sports Complex. Having more people in town for softball and baseball games also helps local restaurants and businesses, he said.
Council members unanimously approved the concessions agreement. Mayor Bob Byrnes said it would bring “a very high quality food vendor” to the complex.
“We appreciate the interest,” council member Craig Schafer told Handeland.