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WM A&P, promoter come to accord over Southland Classic money


WM A&P, promoter come to accord over Southland Classic money

Albright wins over commissioners on move to Marion

Responding to the controversy that erupted when a good portion of tournament play, including the championship round, for the Southland Softball Classic was relocated from Tilden Rodgers Park to the Marion Sports Complex, tournament promoter Clint Albright was in town last month before the West Memphis A& P Commission to account for reimbursable publicity expenses provided by the commission.

The check cut to reimburse the promoter was mailed in June, but Albright promised not to cash it unless the A& P was satisfied with his efforts to promote hotels and restaurants in the city.

In June, the A& P Commission asked for proof of publication for blast e-mails, Internet advertising and other efforts promoting hospitality and dining in West Memphis to tournament teams. Albright came to the meeting loaded for bear.

The softball promoter showed commissioners team exit surveys indicating where they ate and where they stayed. He listed teams and the hotels they stayed in. He showed ad copy and said he worked with Southland Park Gaming and Racing to develop an approved logo for the tournament. Attendance figures indicated a good crowd at a pre-tourney reception hosted at Southland on Friday, the evening before the competition.

One result of the June meeting had placed Albright’s proof of publication as a condition to satisfy the commissioners that promo money had been well spent.

“I just wanted to insure that West Memphis restaurants and hotels got their due,” said Commissioner Ramona Taylor.

The commission, satisfied that West Memphis hotels and restaurants were not only promoted as expected but also well used by the tournament goers, told Albright to bank the $4,700 A& P reimbursement check he held.

Albright also clarified for commissioners his decision to move play to Marion even though no contract was in place between the Marion Parks Department and the promoter.

“A part of my factor was, would it do any harm to play those Sunday games in Marion knowing those teams were already staying in West Memphis and eating here?” said Albright.

“They had that experience and the city had already gained the tourism dollars.

I felt like there wasn’t a big difference in that part of the


By John Rech

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