Thursday, July 2, 2020

Northville adopts new Ford Field rental rules

The City of Northville has a new policy for the rental of Ford Field.
Members of the city council approved the new fee system which will allow rental of the field for “high impact” events for one weekend in June, July and August, respectively.
Each of those three weekends, the field will be available to rent without the usual closure fee to make up for lost revenue at Mill Race Village. The new plan was the product of three months of meetings regarding fees to rent the area which is one block north of downtown. The high impact rental events are those which attract large crowds to the city along with increased consumer spending at local restaurants and retail stores.

Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Lori Ward, City Councilwoman Barbara Moroski-Browne, Parks and Recreation Director Mark Gasche, Mill Race Village Executive Director Leanie Bayly who is also the executive director of the Northville Historical Society and Mill Race Village Event Manager Jennifer Luikart make the recommendation regarding the new fee structure.
Both Ford Field and Mill Race Village are owned by the city. Mill Race Village is managed by The Northville Historical Society which is a non-profit group. Rather than the former, $2200 per weekend fee, or $735 per day, which included the fee for lost revenue at Mill Race Village, the new fee structure will be the same as the Northville city fee rental schedule. Reservations and rentals should still be booked a year in advance, officials noted. The new fee schedule will be applicable on the second weekend of June, July and August beginning in 2021.
Mayor Brian Turnbull commended the core group for reaching an agreement on the issue during the June 1 meeting of the city council.
Currently, events at Ford Field must be booked one year in advance, which is standard operating procedure for large event planners and producers. But it can be overly restrictive for smaller productions that don't have a long lead time for planning and for events that spring up based on unique opportunities and trends. The new policy allows for reserving the space less than one year in advance as long as the rental is approved by the historical society officials.
Using Ford Field as a venue “will alleviate downtown street closures,” Luikart said. “The (previous) rental policy has been a contentious issue (between Mill Race Village and the Northville Historical Society and city council) that goes back five years.”
As events come back to life, “everyone will be financially stressed,” Luikart said, referring to the people renting the venue, the venue, and suppliers impacted by the coronavirus.
Still to be worked out is whether the city or the event organizer will pay for the security and clean-up at Mill Race Village when big events take place at Ford Field, since sections of the Village may be used for storage and staging.