MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a long winter, the snow is finally melting, and kids in the Hastings Futbol Club United are ready to play soccer.
“This is a summer home for a lot of people,” said Club President Jeremy Reuter. “You spend six to seven nights a week here.”
But instead of getting the field ready, organizers are looking for a new place to play.
“It’s tough for us. We have close to 600 kids ready to start soccer games here in a couple weeks,” Reuter said.
Hastings police believe two males drove onto the fields Sunday and spun doughnuts, ruining three of the four main fields at Veterans Athletic Complex. The damage done to the fields is extensive.
In all, the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department says that four acres of land was destroyed. Some of the tire ruts left behind are between 6- and 8-inches deep.
“This was kind of shocking. Certainly haven’t seen anything like this before,” said Hastings Sports and Recreation Coordinator Philip Vargas.
Now, his department is left to clean up the mess that’s not just an eyesore, but a safety hazard. Vargas thinks the process will take most of the spring and summer.
“Anything that’s on the playing field is going to have to be re-done, whether that be sod or whether we throw dirt on there and seed,” Vargas said.
The Futbol Club had 125 games scheduled to take place at the complex from April 30 to June 3 of this year. Reuter says they are already working on finding other locations to play, although the kids are disappointed they won’t be playing on their home turf.
“They’re resilient, they’ll bounce back, but it’s not easy. It’s definitely a setback for us,” Reuter said.
The suspects in this case have yet to be charged. Hastings Police Chief Bryan D. Schafer tells WCCO-TV they are still preparing a case to be presented to prosecutors.