Come One, Come All – A Rugby Story

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Every rugby game at Infinity Park is an event. Players and fans alike experience the electricity of pre-game nerves, anticipating the action and competition, the challenge and camaraderie.
A Rugby Story

A passionate and involved community.

Every rugby game at Infinity Park is an event. Players and fans alike experience the electricity of pre-game nerves, anticipating the action and competition, the challenge and camaraderie. Each match is laden with the promise of exhilaration.

The competition on the last Saturday of February was no exception. A brisk but sunny afternoon, the Glendale Raptors Elite Men took on the Austin Huns in their second home game of the Spring Season, a match that was anticipated to be one of the most challenging for Glendale this year. Both teams started the game with undefeated records, but the Raptors emerged victorious with a hard-fought 41-10 win.

Part of what makes Glendale’s rugby program so special (and so successful) is the presence of a passionate, involved community, one that takes pride in itself and in Infinity Park. In speaking with a number of game attendees, a thoughtful, diverse fan base was revealed –one that reinforces Glendale’s position as the epicenter of rugby in the U.S., and of the sport’s continued growth in national popularity.

Just outside the entrance to Infinity Park I met Mike and Dylan Anderson of Denver, who were attending the game with friends and family. I asked Dylan, 10, what it was he liked about rugby: “Everything,” he replied, lobbing a ball to himself as he answered, “It’s fast and competitive.” Mike, who played rugby in college, says that he has been a fan for decades, introducing Dylan and his friends a few years ago. “They’ve really taken to it,” he says. It’s clear from the boys’ jerseys and game balls that Dylan and his friends have indeed embraced the sport. Asked if he’d like to play rugby, Dylan gives an emphatic nod, though Mike cautions that mom may have the final say: “She knows I used to play back in the ‘90s,” he chuckles, “that was vintage rugby.” Mike admits that the conditions he played in during college are nothing like the facilities the Raptors have at Infinity Park: “We love this place. It’s second to none.”

Anyone who has enjoyed a Raptors game at Infinity Park would be hard-pressed to disagree. Inside the facility every seat offers a great view of the pitch, and the excitement from fans on game day is palpable. As the Raptors match was getting underway, I spent a few minutes speaking with Denver resident Daniel and his father Gary. When I asked Daniel, who has been following the Raptors for several years, why rugby instead of soccer or American football, he replied confidently: “It’s just fun. It’s fast-paced, non-stop action.” While Daniel explains that he prefers 15s rugby, Gary interjects that “Sevens is pretty cool too.” Gary, who grew up in South Africa and formerly played 7s himself, notes with a smile that while rugby is growing in the U.S. the sport is still “a bit more popular” in South Africa.

After a close first half against Austin, the Raptors went on an offensive tear late in the second, piling on points to the cheers of the crowd. Amid the excitement, I met Ankita Laghari (19, of Minneapolis) who attended the game with her parents. The Lagharis are considering buying a condo near Glendale, and wanted to experience some local attractions while visiting the area. All three reported being very impressed with the Infinity Park complex. Ankita explained that this was her first time experiencing rugby in person, though she’d seen the sport televised during the 2016 Olympic Games. A soccer and lacrosse player in Minnesota, she picked the rules of the game up quickly. Asked what she thought of rugby, she mused: “It’s much more strategic than I imagined… these guys are really fit.” She went on to admit that even with the tackling and physicality of the sport, the players displayed poise and sportsmanship. After a moment’s thought, she suggested that rugby was like “football with manners.”

Rugby’s distinction as a gentleman’s game is long lived and well deserved, and is likely a contributing factor in the sport’s surge in U.S. popularity in recent years. Demographics reveal that rugby’s burgeoning American audience is largely an educated, modestly affluent one – and that it is steadily growing. In fact, for the past several years rugby has been the fastest-growing sport in the nation, showing particular popularity among high school and college age players and fans. Part of the attraction for young participants is likely rugby’s emphasis on technique and safety, attractive qualities to a U.S. audience that has become increasingly fearful of American football’s hazards. Parents appreciate rugby’s non-contact youth programs for the same reasons.

USA Rugby reports over 1.1 million participants in the sport as of 2016, a number that continues to increase. The return of 7s rugby to the 2016 Olympics, as well as in-network rugby coverage from both NBC and ESPN has helped to fuel the sport’s meteoric revival in the United States. With major networks and sponsors staking claims, rugby is poised to truly enter the mainstream nationally.

As rugby’s popularity increases, and the national perception of the sport shifts, fan experiences at Infinity Park will remain steadfastly positive. The heart of rugby in the United States, Glendale’s impassioned community, its state-of the-art facilities, and its talented players and coaches will usher in a new era for the sport – one that embraces and engages all participants and fans.

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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

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
Email: Park@InfinityParkatGlendale.com
Fax: 303-639-4611

Payment

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.

ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES SPECIFIC TO SPORTS FIELDS

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).