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Phoenix City Council cancels sports tournaments through February

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 02, 2020

PHOENIX — In a 7-2 vote on Wednesday, the City of Phoenix City Council voted to cancel all sports tournaments and reservations at its athletic fields between Thursday, beginning Dec. 3, 2020, and until the city's community spread returns to the "moderate" level.

Volleyball and basketball courts at Phoenix parks and Phoenix-owned sports complexes would also close, the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department said. Amenities, such as picnic tables, ramadas, and fitness equipment would also be temporarily closed again, all efforts to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Playgrounds, golf courses, hiking trails, and other park amenities would remain open, however, the department said in a news release.

The decision will impact some 30 sports tournaments and some 4,000 teams.

If the city's COVID-19 numbers improve, sports fields could reopen sooner, officials said.

“This is an unprecedented time for the City of Phoenix that requires strong action to curb the skyrocketing spread of Covid-19 in our community," Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement.

"The City Council took that action today through its decision to temporarily close the city’s athletic fields, basketball and volleyball courts, and sports complexes to tournaments and organized games until the metrics reflect that we have returned to a lower risk level," she said.

In recent weeks, various cities in the Valley, including Phoneix, have hosted large sports tournaments. Some supported the efforts believing that the games were good for the kids, while others expressed concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19.

"I share the concerns of parents who are worried about the mental health and welfare of their children. By taking action now, we will move more quickly to a time when it is safe to play games and tournaments on city fields," Gallego said.