The Bakersfield park called Tarina Homes Sports Complex at Mesa Marin may be a mouthful, but it could soon be a little easier to swallow after the local developer failed to pay the city the full cost of naming rights.
The city says that subdivision developer Tarina Homes has not paid the full $200,000 required to name a sports complex in northeast Bakersfield that used to be the site of Mesa Marin Raceway.
As a result, the City Council will vote on Wednesday to strip the developer’s name from the park and rename it Mesa Marin Sports Complex.
Despite the name change, some people may not notice the difference.
“Everybody knows it as Mesa Marin because the old racetrack was there,” said Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover. “We always referred to it as Mesa Marin, but then Tarina Homes came and said we’d like to purchase the naming rights.”
The developer did not respond to a request for comment.
The sports complex contains four softball fields in addition to a playground, picnic area, dog park and splash pads.
The city has planned future expansions of the park as well.
Tarina Homes, which constructed the subdivision, Shamrock Hills, near the park, agreed to a three-year contract with the city in late 2017 for the naming rights of the sports park.
The contract stipulated that the developer would need to pay the city $100,000 in two installments due in July 2018 and 2019 respectively, according to the city.
However, the city wrote in its City Council agenda packet that after Tarina Homes encountered delays in construction for new homes, it had difficulty meeting the original payment terms.
After asking the city to “be flexible” in accepting payment, Bakersfield officials received the first $100,000 for naming rights in June of this year, according to the council agenda.
In May, Tarina Homes once again contacted the city, asking for an alternate payment plan for the second installment, the city said.
The City Council agreed in June to allow Tarina Homes to make five $20,000 payments to Bakersfield, the first installment of which was due July 1.
However, Tarina Homes did not execute the agreement, nor make a payment on July 1, according to the city, and the City Manager’s Office is recommending the council terminate the contract on Wednesday.
The city sent a letter informing the company of its intentions.
If the council votes to drop the Tarina Homes name from the park, the park could be renamed if another party became interested in purchasing naming rights.
“I have to take one step at a time,” Hoover said. “City Council has to accept this first before I can ever consider. I can’t put the cart before the horse.”
Two other parks in Bakersfield have been renamed after a company purchased naming rights — Aera Park on Jewetta Avenue and Kaiser Permanente Sports Village along Taft Highway. Both companies signed longer contracts with the city than Tarina Homes.