GAME OFF: Winter Return Puts Halt To Outdoor Sports

In Des Moines, golf season kicked off on March 29th.

“There’s a little bit of snow in some of the shady areas,” said Minneapolis resident, Joel Brecht.

A month later, snow is everywhere.

Tee boxes are covered in slush and greens are in no shape for putting.

Ned Chiodo manages the city courses and says business is way down.

“Our rounds at most of the courses are down fifty percent,” Chiodo told Channel 13 News.

Chiodo estimates the winter weather has wiped out more than twenty days where golfers would typically fill the courses.

That doesn’t mean Waveland, Blank, or Grandview are in any danger of closing their doors.

Years like 2012 will likely make up for any revenue lost over the past six weeks.

“The golf business is like riding a rollercoaster. You’re going to have good years and bad years. Over the forty years I’ve been here, I suspect it’s evened out,” Chiodo said.

Softball leagues are also feeling the effects of the winter weather.

“With the spring thaw and the late snow, we canceled our first week of the season,” said Mark Callan, Treasurer for the Urbandale Sports Association.

125 teams and more than 1,500 players swing the bats at Walker Johnson Park each spring.

So far, eight of the season’s first twelve days have been wiped out.

Organizers are tacking make-up games on into July, which can cut into make-up days available for tournaments that rent the fields.

“If they have vacations scheduled when they thought the seasons would end, that gets a little tough,” said Callan.

Tournaments and events are where the Urbandale Sports Association brings in money for field maintenance.

“We can’t reschedule tournaments. We have tournaments scheduled every weekend,” Callan told Channel 13 News.

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