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First, we want to apologize to any Athletic Republic – Capitol Region patron for our lack of clarity in our policies.  

Additionally, in our attempt to make light of the real issue, the focus on the $2 bottle of water has become more of an issue than the true issue.  Again, we apologize.  Most importantly please note that we hear you.  All of the owners of this franchise have children heavily involved in high school sports and are more than empathetic to your concerns.  And as a sports performance facility founded on the principals of sports science, we certainly understand the benefits and requirements of proper hydration.   

We have spent many months planning and working to make Athletic Republic – Capitol Region a premiere sports performance and event venue where memories are made and dreams come true for both kids and adults.  We’ve done our level best to anticipate problems and issues and tried to come up with reasonable solutions in advance.  Our staff and committed volunteers have all been absolutely marvelous in delivering on this mission.  

We are in week number 2 of tournament operations, and we thank you for your patience as we find our way.

Please note that it was the policy of previous owners to not allow food or drink of any kind to enter the facility.  It was the policy of the last owner to allow specific unopened bottles of water into the building, but nothing else, including coffee. Some of the signage that had remained in the building was a remnant from previous owners; that signage containing language contradictory to our policies has been either updated or removed. 

We recognized before our official opening that we were going to have an issue with food and drinks on the courts and the performance turf.  We addressed this by posting signage that made it clear that we limit food and drinks to designated areas.  However, the overwhelming majority of tournament patrons (over 2,000 each day in week 1) ignored the signs, and we ended up with multiple issues as both the performance turf and courts required extensive repairs following the event.  As the chaos of the tournament was happening, we tried to adjust our policies on the fly and attempted to determine on a case-by-case basis as to what we would allow. 

In week two, we tried to remain flexible at the outset.  However, it became clear, very quickly that not only would we have facility concerns, but that we would have safety concerns also.  In-game, we were forced to clean up water, pudding, apple sauce, fruit cups, yogurt, chicken wings, wine, etc. –not just from the stands, but literally from the middle of the courts, which created major safety issues for players. The worst of which was what we believe to have been yogurt; the more we tried to clean it up, the worse it spread and penetrated the floor's seal. It would not dry, and not knowing exactly what it was, we had to guess at which chemicals to use to try to make the surface safe to play on (again, this was in-game).  Our external tournament director clients and our Athletic Republic – Capitol Region staff cannot control nor do they have the time at the front gate to determine what patrons put in bottles  or packages before entering the facility (many of the bottles have been opened, refilled, or altered with additives, like whey, vitamins or something else).  However, by limiting the items that enter the building to the items that of which we know, then even if something makes its way on the courts or performance turf, we have what we need to clean it and can keep the kids playing.  Again, please note that thousands of people enter the facility and participate in these activities.  No one is served well if courts or performance turf are forced out of service. Hence, we decided to move forward and strictly enforce our policy.   

Immediately following this week’s tournament, we spent thousands of dollars adding multiple hydration points (water fountains) in close proximity to the courts (but not on the courts), so that both players and patrons have easy, free access to hydration.  

We do have water, Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, and a multitude of other drinks for sale both in the cafeteria and in multiple vending machines to provide additional access to hydration. There are also water fountains in both locker rooms and in several other places in the building.   

Since the end of the last tournament, we have clarified our policy and have informed all of the tournament promoters and sponsors in advance.  We have modified our contracts to clarify the policy for all future tournament providers and sponsors.  And our website is being updated to clearly notate the absolutely no outside food or drinks policy.  

To reiterate, our policies are that no food or outside drink can enter the building, and we do not allow any food or drinks in the playing and performance areas. 

Again, please accept our most sincere apologies, and we look forward to seeing you again in the very near future.

Athletic Republic - Capitol Region