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Parents Complain about Lack of Park Football Fields

Joliet Park District members say they would like to help but with 1,500 members signed up for their youth soccer programs, there's no space left for football.

There are five youth football teams in the city of , but none of them have a dedicated place to practice.

“We’re a Joliet team and we’re struggling,” Francisco Bermudez, president of Joliet Ravens Board, told to the this week.

The Ravens practice on a field adjacent to , but team members have no access to rest rooms, Bermudez said. With team members as young as 5, it has been a challenge, he said.

About 1,500 kids play football with the five youth football teams -- about the same number as play soccer through the park district -- but while there are plenty of soccer fields, there is only one for football.

The problem is that the district does not offer any football programs.

“We don’t sponsor football through the park district, but we do sponsor soccer, so we use those fields for our own program,” park board President Brett Gould said.

In fact, the district has never had a football program because it did not want to compete with the private football leagues, Gould said.

Board members said they support the Ravens and want to help, but they're limited by space.

“I don’t have the answer where we can put them right now,” park district Executive Director Dominic Egizio said.

Pam June 29, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Joliet Junior College has a practice facility they're not using for football anymore. Why can't some kind of agreement be worked out there?
Natalie June 29, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I'm sorry but if the program isn't sponsored by the park district why should the park district have to find places for the football leagues to play. I support youth sports completely but if the private organization is collecting fees for kids to play football then it should be up to the 'private' football team to find practice fields. The soccer league is sponsored by the park district and fees are collected for the soccer program and the park district sees that their are places for the soccer team to practice. It seems to me the football organization is responsible here to find the fields and if parents are upset about nowhere to practice they should take it up with the football organization, not the park district, who has no involvement in the league what so ever.
Mike Schauer June 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM
The Joliet Park District,does offer a coed flag football league through the NFL. And I was deeply involved with program since its inception 8yrs. ago. The tackle football leagues are private endeavors. And it is not the responsibility of the Park District to supply them fields.

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