Marin's professional fighter Paul Nave hopes to hold the last fight of his career in in San Rafael this September.
The “Marin County Assassin” recently applied for a use permit to turn the field into a boxing ring, and the San Rafael Park and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the application in their Thursday meeting.
Nave, of San Anselmo, holds at least five World Boxing Federation welterweight titles and has organized professional boxing events at the Marin County Civic Center and Gnoss Field with his company Liberty Boxing Enterprises, LLC. He’s competed in professional fights since 1985 when he stepped into the ring with Chauncey Hayes at the Civic Center.
“This will be the last one,” the 51-year-old fighter said. “And I’m not even training yet.”
The tournament will be the second boxing event Nave’s produced at Albert Field. The commission approved the plan on the condition that the Nave’s do what he can to minimize noise during the event.
Nave fought his way through the city’s appeal process when the commission denied him a use permit for a boxing tournament last year.
Last year’s event took place in September, where with the undefeated 24-year-old Missouri boxer Brandon Hoskins. Hoskins was still undefeated when the fight ended.
“[The event] was not only successful, it was enjoyable,” Gerstle Park neighbor Samantha Sargent said at the meeting.
Sargent, who lives across the street from the on B Street, brought with her a letter from the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Association’s Board of Directors supporting Nave’s proposal.
“It fits in to the city’s vision,” she said. “. We’ve got baseball. It’s nice to have something to mix it up a bit.”
Supporters of the plan also believe that the event will boost business in downtown thanks to people wanting to kill time before watching the boxing match. Nave said he talked to several business owners, including those at Il Davide, Crepevine and San Rafael Joe’s, who all reported that their restaurants were full the night of the September 2011 tournament.
“Everyone wants to keep our business local,” said Andy Bachich, owner of and in San Rafael. “Paul is about as local as they come,” he said.
Nave’s new permit application is asking to use Albert Field for an event on Sept. 14. He anticipates that the match will draw between 1000 to 1200 attendees.
In addition to the stadium seating for 800, three sections of chairs will be set up around the temporary boxing ring installed near the home plate area of the baseball field.
Admission will be charged and gates are requested to open by 6:30 p.m. The event will end at 10:30 p.m. and break down of the equipment will require an additional two hours. Beer, wine, and food will be sold and the field lights will be used, according to the staff report.
Although last’s year event did not damage the field, some neighbors did complain about the noise. Concerns about noise heightened during baseball company
Jennifer Dohrmann-Alpert lives on the 300 block of C Street. While she supported the baseball plan, she does not support boxing.
“I do not think that boxing will attract a crowd that will enhance our already suffering neighborhood,” she wrote in an email to the commission. “With all the sober living homes, homeless situation and baseball crowds, the neighborhood has been spiraling out of control...”
While Albert Park is used for sporting events like baseball, bocce ball and volley ball, the commission has no policy on how to deal with non-traditional uses like boxing, according to Community Services Director Carlene McCart. Staff are currently in the process of drafting such a policy and hope to discuss it at the commission’s next meeting in July.
“We want to have our parks be a positive thing and improve our neighborhoods,” Commissioner Mark Lubamersky said, noting that too many events could have negative effects on the surrounding community.
In the meantime, Nave will have to stick to the field’s sound system at the approved volume settings without facing any speakers toward the hills (an act that amplified sound during last’s year match), and public announcements and music must stop at 10 p.m.
The commission’s recommendation must be approved by the City Council. McCart said it will be added to their July 2 meeting’s consent calendar.
After that, Nave can start training.