If I may ... I'm not one to comment on such conversations but I would like to throw in my two cents.
Any more, it seems like there is a host of professional companies that are taking that option away from the private groups and teams. They are strictly in it for the money and really provide nothing for the kids. They are not building a "Team" or a "Facility" to give kids a place to play or work out of. They are not helping to fund a "Travel" program or putting the money they make to good use. The only kids benefiting from their profit are the kids whose last names happen to be the same as theirs. They take the money, put it in their pockets and run.
Surely you don't really feel this way about programs paying for baseballs ($20K+), putting players and teams on quality college fields across the country (fields run anywhere from $1K-$4500+/event) instead of playing every game on high school fields, this in return putting the older players in front of college coaches that may have otherwise never have been seen by (wish I had a count on the number of players signing with schools from our events for you but I don't keep track), and ultimately seeing the faces on players' faces when they run out on to a division 1 facility for the first time to play a baseball game which we all love to watch.
I started Pastime in 2005 to provide better tournaments than what were currently being done. I was approached by colleges in attendance to put our events on at their place so they could see players because of the quality competition and how well the events were ran. From there we have grown in to what we are now but please tell me why I need a "facility" to be "professional" and why a facility or a travel team would make us any better. Several of my guys are HS coaches, gave up better paying opportunities to run tournaments and watch the game they love, know that we have turned down opportunities to sell Pastime (for more money than a few young guys could ask for), and I personally gave up a career offer to be behind a desk with normal hours (not the 16+ hours/day we put in now to give teams and players what they deserve) and a salary. No sir. I started Pastime Tournaments, the only place we are going is around the country where teams and schools want our tournaments, and if I'm in it for the money someone owes me a check.
I do not include PG in with this group. They are a "Professional" company, but they do at least provide a valuable service to the kids by helping to get their names out there. I also don't mind "Professional" companies who actually "own" a facility. They are, in my opion, building a location for kids to play and I realize that they do have to make money to keep the doors open. The other companies, like Pastime, ETS Sports, etc. are not doing anything but taking opportunities away from some of the older established organizations like AAU, USSSA, USTOC, etc. who, again, did if for the right reasons.
PG runs a great program. I hope we have as much success as they do. Surely I am taking the latter of this message out of context as it sounds as though some organizations are permitted to make a profit and others are not for some reason. If I made more money perhaps I would start an indoor facility so I can become "professional" that way your dictionary describes it. Furthermore, we are providing opportunities to many more teams/organizations/parents and players than we could ever even consider taking from them! Then again, we don't have a facility so we aren't doing it for the right reasons and since those of us that aren't as old as the sanctioning bodies described that charge teams just to be sanctioned by them we must just be in it for the money.
In my opinion, as right or wrong as it may be, is one of many things that are wrong with youth sports today. The professionals have taken it over. It's no longer about building something for the kids, it's about how much money can we put in our pockets.
I don't see anything wrong with your organization or any other running a tournament. I don't care if you run them on the same weekends that we are running ours. However, wouldn't you want "professionals" running the events that you attend so you know what you are getting, you know that they are going to be quality tournaments, and you know (for the older divisions) that the added benefit of being seen by colleges and playing on collegiate fields is a way to prepare our young players for what is to come? That is "building something for the kids" isn't it. Building something doesn't have to be a physical structure. What we have built is an organization that strives to provide players/teams the best opportunity to compete on quality fields, against top quality teams, and receive the attention they deserve whether it be from our staff or scouts.
As a side note, to the gate fee reference, we took a poll from 100% of the teams attending our events over the past couple of years and they preferred to build the cost of the gate fees in to the cost of the tournament and then simply allow the parents to pay before attending. Passing it off to the parents when they get to the tournament is no different than charging a gate fee upfront, that we put back in to the fields for improvements, so long as teams are aware of the fee which in our case is posted at the top of the site (and has been since 2006).
Good luck to the Cardinals in your efforts, as well as PappaJoe, as I am sure you will be successful in what you do.