Youth soccer league reportedly pushes back against SB 50 preparations

A youth soccer league close to Levi's Stadium isn't happy with how the NFL will take over their fields during Super Bowl 50.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Preparations for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, are underway, but a youth soccer league whose home is located on the edge of Levi’s Stadium is pushing back against the NFL.

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According to CBS News, representatives of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park are concerned the NFL will ruin the “pristine” fields and affect the 1,500 players who use the facility.

The NFL and city of Santa Clara reportedly made this agreement in 2013, but the youth soccer league said it found out just two weeks ago that the facility will be off-limits until March. Consequently, the soccer organization is scrambling to find replacement fields for games.

"To kind of just bulldoze over the kids to hand over the park to the NFL and not be accountable to making sure the kids have a place to play — that’s outrageous," said Santa Clara Youth Soccer League board member Gabe Foo.

Per CBS News, an NFL spokesman said: “The NFL and 49ers have already committed to replace at no cost to the City of Santa Clara the two natural grass fields.”

A judge recently denied the soccer league’s request for a restraining order, so the NFL will continue placing temporary plastic flooring on the fields until another court date on Jan. 11. The NFL plans to use the fields for media staging, halftime entertainment and security.

The soccer league is demanding the City of Santa Clara provides a suitable place to play while the NFL controls the fields.

From an outside perspective, it seems crazy the city, NFL and youth league didn’t have a plan. Part of the San Francisco 49ers’ pitch to host the Super Bowl had to include utilizing the neighboring facility. Santa Clara and the youth league in particular should’ve been working on this since 2013.

It’s safe to assume — as usual — the NFL will get its way because the Super Bowl will take precedence over a youth soccer league. Hopefully, the kids will have an adequate location to continue their soccer seasons.

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