A Peek At The Park’s Power Planner: Glendale’s Kieran Nelson

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Kieran Nelson

Responsible for virtually every logistical aspect of the tournament, Nelson’s role is paramount.

Over the final weekend of August, while central Colorado basked in late summer sun, the Serevi RugbyTown 7s Tournament roared in Glendale. In its fifth year of competition, the three-day tournament featured 20 teams (including teams from all five U.S. Military Branches) playing for a $10,000 winner-take-all purse. Rugby 7s, a quicker variation of traditional 15-a-side Rugby Union play, features two seven-minute halves and puts the importance of a team’s speed, strength, and stamina at the fore. From August 26th to 28th, the RugbyTown 7s Tournament saw 62 matches, with the underdog Glendale Raptors clawing their way to an impressive second place finish overall.

The excitement for rugby was palpable in Glendale, with thousands of fans in attendance, but the success and growth that the Serevi RugbyTown 7s Tournament enjoyed was no accident. The organization, planning, and execution of the event are the product of the acumen of a highly skilled and dedicated staff, with Director of Facilities and Stadium Operations Kieran Nelson at the helm. Working alongside her colleague, Stadium Operations Manager Michael Hoff, Nelson has produced hundreds of local community and private events, as well as national and international rugby games and tournaments at Infinity Park.

A Colorado native, Nelson spent her college years in the Pacific Northwest, working in politics, human resources, and fundraising before transitioning into event planning at Infinity Park. Asked about what goes into planning an event like the RugbyTown 7s Tournament, Nelson shrugged: “What doesn’t? We begin planning a year in advance, and everyone in the City of Glendale is involved with the production of an event like this. It’s amazing the amount of effort and teamwork required. It takes a village.” Responsible for virtually every logistical aspect of the tournament, Nelson’s role is paramount. “This is probably the premier 7s tournament in the country. Every year we outdo ourselves and take it to a new level — we’re creating new rugby fans.” This year, the RugbyTown 7s Tournament was accompanied by Glendale’s Bruises and Brews Beerfest, which featured 20 breweries and attracted nearly 1500 attendees. Beer and rugby: two Colorado staples that certainly go better together.

For an event at Infinity Park, Nelson coordinates the staffing of guest services, security, and in-stadium food and beverage vendors, determines layouts, tent locations, and all necessary event rentals, while also working closely with the marketing team for promotion. Infinity Park Event Center staff coordinate the logistics for the VIP reception and post-tournament banquet, working closely with the Stadium staff to ensure everything runs smoothly from beginning to end. Glendale Public Works maintains the fields, including the award-winning stadium pitch, practice fields, city parks and the Festival Plaza. Deputy City Manager Linda Cassaday oversees the entire tournament, from initial invitations to tackling the arduous task of coordinating travel and lodging for teams, referees and staff who fly in for the tournament. City employees all dig in to assist with everything from managing incoming deliveries to set up and filtering through all the invoices and payments that need to be made pre- and post-tournament. As Nelson says, “this is truly a team effort.” With just herself and Hoff as full-time stadium employees, an event like the Serevi RugbyTown 7s Tournament sees the number of contracted staff balloon to as many as 250. While a typical Raptors game might require 40 guest relations and security staff, with an additional 20 personnel working on webcast and audio/video production, daily staffing for the RugbyTown 7s tournament saw double those numbers — the scale and scope of Nelson’s involvement is truly impressive. “It’s exhausting to plan an event like this,” she said, “but I thrive on it. The minute the first teams start to arrive, the first tents go up — that energy creates a buzz felt throughout the city.”

Kieran Nelson
Kieran Nelson loves to share her infectious personality and sings along with Mamma Mia during Monday Movie Madness at Infinity Park.

Though she admits to enjoying every aspect of her work, the Director of Facilities does have a life away from Infinity Park. Much of Nelson’s time outside the office is currently spent coordinating another important event — her daughter’s transition to college.

She and her husband also enjoy Colorado’s ever-growing craft beer scene and spending time with their pets. Asked about her career at Infinity Park, Nelson is reflective. She left a position she enjoyed with National Jewish Health to explore a contract event planning role at Infinity Park in 2009: “It was a huge risk for my family, but it fascinated me and we decided to take the leap. It was amazing from day one.” Never intending to become involved in this type of work, she loves her job and is, clearly, quite good at it. Nelson also recognizes the importance of Infinity Park: “It’s the keystone of all of the things that are happening in Glendale, and I’m proud to have been on the ground since the beginning. The growth has been incredible and it will only continue.”

With the continuing expansion of 7s tournament play, and rugby’s popularity in the U.S. climbing quickly, Nelson’s gamble on Infinity Park has clearly paid off. That pay-off extends to fans and guests as well, as any attendee of the thoughtfully and expertly planned events at Glendale’s crown jewel can attest.

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Applicants must be 21 years of age or older. The City of Glendale shall have at least one business day after receiving application to review. The City of Glendale reserves the right to take additional time to review any application.

Full payment of rental fees and required deposits are required at the time of application. A deposit will be required prior to your event and will be returned within 30 days after your event as long as no damages are incurred. An employee from Infinity Park and/or the Glendale Public Works department will report on any damages or cleaning charges before your deposit will be returned.

Rental fees are charged for the entire reserved time which is to include set-up and tear down/clean up. Your group will be expected to vacate space promptly at end time listed on permit. Additional fees may apply based on the size and scope of event.

The City of Glendale reserves the right to: 1) amend the rental rules as needed to serve the best interest of the City; 2) relocate any meeting/activity based on unforeseen circumstances; 3) have a designated employee visit any activity site or require that the Glendale Police Department enforce the terms of this rental agreement; 4) terminate the permit at any time in the interest of public safety without refund of rental fees or deposit.

The City of Glendale assumes no liability for lost or stolen property on park premises or for personal injuries sustained on the premises during the permit holder’s activity.

Permits will be issued upon approval of application. Reservation notices will be posted on the day of the event.

Changes to date or site may be charged $25.00 per permit change.


Applications should be submitted at least 10 business days prior to requested date of use. Applications received within 24 hours of event/activity may be charged a $25 service fee. Payment and all applicable documents must besubmitted at least 5 business days prior to permit date. Depending on the nature of the activity, “applicable” documents may include an Athletic Organization Information Form, Waiver of Liability and/or Insurance Agreement.

All applications will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be accepted via mail, fax or email. Payment must accompany application before being considered. Any application submitted without complete information and/or without payment will not be reviewed.

Mailing Address: Infinity Park Operations, 950 S Birch St., Glendale, CO 80246
Fax: 303-639-4611


By mail: Applications must be accompanied by payment: check (made out to “City of Glendale”), money order or Visa/MasterCard.

By email or fax: A credit card authorization form must accompany application.

Rental Guidelines, Terms & Conditions

1. Daily Park Hours: The Synthetic Turf Athletic Field at Infinity Park is available to reserve from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM. The volleyball courts, as well as the pavilions and fields at Creekside and Mir Parks, are available to reserve from 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Use of all spaces may be limited to certain months of the year and select days of the week

2. Park Permit: A permit is required for any group activity (“group” is defined as activities with 10 or more people). The permit must be in the possession of the group while the site is in use. Permits are non-transferable and non-refundable. The City of Glendale reserves the right to change and/or revoke any permit and restrict activities in the park at any given time. Any violations of City of Glendale policies, rules, regulations, or guidelines may result in immediate revocation of permit. Use of any of the facilities described in this document without the appropriate authorization may result in fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

3. Usage Priority: If a site has been permitted, the permit-holder has priority over other users. Contact Park Operations (number listed on permit) for any site issues.

4. Fees: Fees are due in full; deposits or partial payments are not accepted. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, and money orders (made payable to City of Glendale) or Master Card or Visa Credit Cards.

5. Attendee Conduct: The permit-holder is responsible for his/her actions as well as the actions of gathering attendees.

6. Restroom Facilities: Restroom facilities are taken on an “as is” basis and are not part of any reserved space.

7. Vehicular Access: Motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited. Roadways and parking areas are clearly marked and established. Driving beyond designated boundaries to load and unload equipment or transport goods is prohibited. Vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

8. Site Clean Up: It is the permit holder’s responsibility to clean up after each use. Trash must be properly disposed of in dumpsters or trash barrels (depending on the size and scope, certain permit holders may be required to provide additional trash receptacles/dumpsters). Ice may be placed in barrels or spread out on hard surfaces. Grills of any type are prohibited. Trash is not to be left in flowerbeds, on grassy areas, under/in trees, shrubs, vegetation, buildings, or structures. Excessive trash removal on the part of Infinity Park or the Glendale Public Works Department may result in forfeiture of deposit, fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

9. Destruction of Property: It is unlawful for any person, other than authorized personnel, to mark, remove, break, or climb upon, or in any way injure, damage or deface trees, shrubs, plants, turf, or any of the buildings, fences, monuments, goal posts, or other structures or property within or upon the park.

10. Damage: Broken fences, seating, goals, or any potential safety hazards such as holes or broken sprinkler heads should be reported immediately to the phone number listed on the permit.

11. Glass Bottles/Containers: Glass bottles and containers are prohibited.

12. Alcoholic Beverages: 3.2% beer is the only alcoholic beverage allowed in the park, except under special licensing. Beer must be served in cans or from a keg in plastic cups. All State liquor laws apply. Alcoholic beverage sales, including purchased tickets, are prohibited, except under special licensing.

13. Dogs: Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Bag dispensers are provided, and dog owners are expected to clean up after their pets.

14. Amplified Sound: Amplified sound (i.e. P.A. systems, music) is prohibited without Assembly Permit or Special Event Contract.

15. Canopies and Tents: Tents, canopies and additional tables and chairs provided by groups using the parks/pavilions will be permitted. Staking is prohibited; weights, including water, lead and sand are allowed.

16. Signage: Signs, banners, party decorations, and canopies may not be attached to trees, shelters, light fixtures, or other park structures. Blocking areas, including sidewalks, parking lots, paths, and roadways is prohibited.

17. Prohibited Activities/Items: included, but not limited to: aircraft, air castles, carnivals, climbing walls, dunk tanks, fireworks, golf, horseback riding, hot air balloons, inflatable games, model airplanes, moon walks, petting zoos, pony rides, and search lights (some of these activities may be allowed with limited hours and Assembly City of Glendale 950 South Birch St, Glendale. CO 80246 Page | 6 permit or Special Event Contract). Weapons, including but not limited to such items as knives, firearms, bows and arrows, martial arts weapons, javelins, shot-puts, discus, and all other projectiles, are prohibited. All Federal, State and Municipal laws apply.

18. Admission: Charging admission or gate charges is prohibited, except under a Special Event or Assembly permit.

19. Gambling: Raffles, gambling, bingo, and games where money buys a chance are prohibited.

20. Grills: Mir and Creekside Park Pavilions: portable gas grills are allowed (permit holders may also use the grills located at the pavilions); Infinity Park: grills of all types – charcoal, gas, portable, etc., – are prohibited. Two (2) stationary, charcoal grills are located west of the pavilion.

21. Event Equipment Needs: The permit holder is responsible for providing all necessary equipment and services, including but not limited to activity-related equipment, canopies, tents, chairs, tables, scaffolding, portable toilets, hand sinks, water or water containers, trash receptacles, trash pick-up, recycling, and clean-up crews. All equipment and fixtures provided by permit holder must be temporary in nature and may not be affixed, attached or permanently change the condition of the playing surface.

22. Insurance: Insurance is required for reservations for 100 or more people. In such cases, permit holder must provide commercial general liability insurance for the benefit of all activity-related individuals and groups, including permit holder group members, participants, attendees, invitees, and the City of Glendale. The commercial general liability insurance shall provide coverage of at least $1,000,000 and name the City of Glendale, its employees, agents and/or assigns as Additional Insured. The certificate of this commercial general liability insurance shall be received by theCity no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the permit holder’s scheduled use of the site reserved. Permit holder expressly acknowledges and agrees that homeowner’s insurance coverage does not meet the requirements hereof. Certificate must read as follows with this exact language: ADDITIONALLY INSURED: THE CITY OF GLENDALE, ITS OFFICERS, OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. If you are unable to obtain this insurance, please contact Park Operations at 303-692-5799

23. Permit Revocation: Permits may be revoked for failure to follow guidelines in any way.


1. Field Conditions: Athletic field permit holders may be asked to limit field use hours and days as determined by Infinity Park Operations and/or the City of Glendale Public Works Department. In the case of adverse field conditions, such as weather, sprinkler operations, field repairs, etc., athletic fields may be closed. Any use of the athletic fields without the appropriate authorization or when the fields are closed may result in fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

2. Snow Removal: Individuals are not allowed to remove snow from any of the fields.

3. Equipment: All teams, organizations and players are required to provide their own equipment for practices, games and tournaments. All equipment and fixtures provided by permit holder must be temporary in nature and may not be affixed, attached or permanently change the condition of the playing surface.

4. Field Markings: Any field markings not applied by the Glendale Public Works Department may result in forfeiture of deposit, penalty fees and loss of future scheduling privileges.

5. Insurance/Waiver of Liability Options: Option 1. The permit holder provides 1) a roster with player names, addresses and cities of residence listed and 2) proof of insurance on an “Accord Insurance Certificate.” Insurance Certificate must 1) reflect a minimum coverage amount of $1,000,000; 2) reflect a 30 day cancellation period with notice of intent to cancel provided to Infinity Park AND the City of Glendale at the address listed on the permit; and 3) state the Additionally Insured as “THE CITY OF GLENDALE, ITS OFFICERS, OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES.” Binders and pending or blanket policies are not acceptable.

Option 2. In lieu of an Insurance Certificate, permit holder signs waiver form on behalf of all participants (form located next page).