Not everyone is thrilled that the Bay Area is hosting its first Super Bowl in decades as the NFL has just begun the process of tearing apart youth soccer fields in Santa Clara to set up a temporary media village for the loads of media expected for the game. The NFL has long planned on using the youth soccer fields near Levi’s Stadium with the intent to repair the fields when after the Super Bowl, but the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League is moving forward with a lawsuit against the National Football League in addition to the city of Santa Clara as they contend no viable solution has been offered in regards to loss to access to the fields and damages the fields incurs.
— David Louie (@abc7david) January 4, 2016
The youth soccer league is suing the city, and now the NFL, accusing the city of failing to follow the process for changing the conditional use of the permit for the use of the soccer fields. The youth league who initially was suing the city has now added the NFL to the lawsuit, seeking a restraining order to block the NFL from taking over the soccer fields. As previously suggested, this is the ultimate David vs. Goliath legal squabble, and the youth soccer league simply stands little chance when the NFL is set to deliver plenty of extra revenue to the city of Santa Clara in the coming weeks.
“It’s no longer just the city,” said Gautam Dutta, a managing partner at the Business, Energy, and Election Law firm, and the attorney representing the soccer league in its suit against Santa Clara and the NFL, as reported by The Mercury News. “The NFL actually gets custody of the fields today. Now you have a new party who is involved.”
The NFL, because they can, has moved forward with their plans as scheduled with the city’s blessing. Nothing stops the NFL, after all, especially a youth soccer league. The NFL also already had a judge’s decision in its favor when a judge denied a restraining order against the NFL requested by the soccer league. The judge asked the NFL to not make any drastic changes to the fields but didn’t find the league’s argument convincing to stop the handing over of the fields to the league. What should be the concern is the heavy wear and tear from media trucks and satellite trucks and feet going back and forth over a two week stretch. That can do some serious damage to any field.
In addition to the fear of long term damage, a release put out by the league contends teams maybe forced to forfeit games as other locations to host games have not panned out.
“Our team is the top seed of our age group in the State Cup Tournament, and if we cannot host the game, and if our opponent cannot find a field we would forfeit and jeopardize our State Cup Championship run.”
“The City of Santa Clara claim they provided adequate fields to the soccer league, but the truth is we were only given access to two small soccer fields at the Twin Creeks Sports Complex from January 4th – February 25th. The Twin Creeks fields are too small to host games and only available from Monday-Thursday; the league plays soccer games every weekend.“
Here’s hoping the NFL takes care of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League by not only restoring the torn up fields, but making them better than ever. And if the NFL has any common decency, it will find a way to incite the entire youth soccer league to some of the festivities, with VIP treatment for all.