Penn and Brown are scheduled to run at the Iona Meet of Champions today at Van Cortlandt Park and I noticed an early-morning tweet from Columbia’s Mark Feigen that said, “Fences down at VCP.” It was accompanied by the photo above (nice image, Mark!).
So I retweeted and immediately heard from former Brown star Owen Washburn, who wondered why Heps was not going to be there in the near future.
The reason is simple, the coaches voted against returning to VCP in 2012 and 2013, but beyond that we don’t know. So why’d the coaches do that?
One thing we’ve heard is that having the Heps Championships on Saturday is preferred over Friday, which is the only apparent option at Vanny. But there have also been complaints over soaring fees and ticky-tack add-on fees in recent years.
I can’t find supportive evidence right now, but I do recall reading that under the old deals with Yankee and Shea Stadiums, the Bronx Bombers and the Mets paid a fee that helped support NYC Parks & Recreation. That support was lifted in the new stadium deals and it had a dramatic impact on Parks revenue.
How much so? Well, as of yesterday you could have bought signage at the basketball courts and dog runs in the City.
So I’d suspect a return to VCP for Heps is very much up in the air. As of 2013, with three years of easy parking and a preferred weekend schedule, I’d guess that a return to the Bronx would be a long shot, but that is just a guess.
In the meantime, before you make a mad dash across the parade grounds at VCP, take heed. The Riverdale Press across the street from the Park reported that when the fences came down in early September, “the field was covered in goose feces and small clusters of mushrooms.”