By Sean Rice
A city committee suggested Friday that Celina submit a bid to host the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) baseball world series for a fifth straight year.
Spanning a mid-May weekend, the NCCAA tournament brings spectators from all over the country to watch championship teams from Christian colleges compete for the title on Celina's ball fields.
Former city administrators Paul Arnold and Dave Schmidt attracted the league to bring the state-roving championship to Celina four years ago. Celina churches and businesses have provided food and services and pledged money to support the four-day event.
With the change in city administration, a community committee was formed to handle this year's and future tournaments.
Celina City Council's community betterment committee recommended on Friday that Celina be the host again next year, with the newly formed committee doing the coordination and fund-raising legwork. The event has been entirely funded through donations and has been estimated at costing $12,000 to put on. Also, officials have estimated the championship generates about $100,000 in spin-off revenue for the local business economy.
On Friday afternoon, Celina Mayor Sharon LaRue said the bank account holding the tournament's funding had a $3,313 carryover balance from last year. This year, the ending balance is expected to be about $5,900. The tournament account is a local checking account and is not associated with city funds.
Using the mayor's numbers, committee members Friday calculated about $8,300 was expended from the NCCAA checking account this year to put on the tournament, which includes a banquet, shirts, awards and other items.
LaRue said the NCCAA committee met this week and is seeking the support and financial backing of Celina before they commit to coordinating the event.
"So this will probably end up costing the city nothing," member June Scott said after seeing there may only be a $2,000 to $3,000 difference between the year-end balance and the projected cost next year.
Dozens of businesses and organizations pledged more than $10,000 this year.
An application needs to be submitted to the NCCAA to propose Celina is willing to host the championship for another year. Scott said Celina may have competition from other communities in other states seeking to host the tournament, notably this year's champions from Dallas.
The committee recommended city council pass a resolution supporting. City council has not passed any resolutions supporting the event in the past, as it was in the hands of the former mayor.