And so it ends. The Kenosha City Softball Tournament is no more. The jury is still out on future tournaments but the 2019 edition has indeed been cancelled due to a lack of participation. Here are a few “whys” that may have led to its demise:
Location, location, location. The move to Poerio Park was the beginning of the end. The layout of the park is not conducive to recreation softball and it never has been. The far north side location has always been a detractor as well.
Evolution. As the Golden Age of Softball came to a close, the folks at the City Tournament never really evolved along with it. The Rotary Tournament has done everything short of circus clowns and high-wire acts to draw in people. The City Tournament just kinda stayed the course seemingly waiting for a softball comeback that never came.
Cash is King. The City never paid out. Sure, there was one point in our collective softball history that “bragging rights” in KTown meant something and winning a city championship was a big thing, but those days are long gone. Perhaps some serious cash would have garnered more interest in the event..playing for a $40 trophy and pride just wasn’t cuttin’ it.
More than a Feeling. The City Tournament never really had the “feel and vibe” of the Rotary Tournament….ever. The Rotary Tournament was and is an event whereas the City Tournament was a softball tournament…nothing more. It is hard to assign the variables that changes something from a ball game to an event, but there is no question there was a distinct difference.
Shameless Promotion. There never seemed to be a ton of promotion regarding the tournament. One simply knew that the same weekend of the Holy Rosary Festival was the Kenosha City Tournament. There are many factors that can come into play regarding how something is promoted, and the promotion of The City wasn’t as loud as it could have been.
The Rotary’s Little Brother. The City Tournament has been, for a long long time, the lessor of the two big tournaments in Kenosha softball. Possibly because of some or most or all of the reasons listed above, or perhaps other factors were at play. By the end of the Golden Age, if you were on a team that had decided to play just one of the two…you were playing in the Rotary.
This is in no way an attempt to diminish any of the hard work that was poured in to this event by the folks that ran and worked this tournament. Anyone that was ever attempted to run a softball tournament knows what an involved, thankless job it is. This is simply a few observations about a once great tournament that at least for 2019, has taken the summer off.