Soccer league files lawsuit over NFL occupancy for Super Bowl 50

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The peeved parents of a youth soccer league in Santa Clara are seeking legal action after losing soccer fields for the next two months due to Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium.

According to Ramona Giwargis of the San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League filed a suit on Wednesday in hopes of stopping the NFL from taking over soccer fields adjacent to the stadium. The space is expected to used as a media village for the Super Bowl, a stipulation agreed upon by the city in bidding for the championship in 2013.

“We’re not trying to ruin the Super Bowl,” said Gautam Dutta, an attorney representing soccer league. “But we want to make sure the kids are provided for. And right now, time’s up. The fields could be paved over as early as Monday.”

The NFL would have access to the fields from January 4 to March 2. Afterward, the NFL has agreed to replace the fields, but that isn’t viewed as satisfactory by the soccer league, which will have displace up to 250 soccer games during the occupation.

66 responses to “Soccer league files lawsuit over NFL occupancy for Super Bowl 50

  1. Not a fan of the NFL brass BUT the list of “give always” to secure SB50 would’ve been submitted waayyyy back. Sounds like either A. The soccer association was asleep at the wheel or B. The soccer association is attempting to strong arm the NFL into additional considerations. Sounds like something right in the wheelhouse of most attorneys.

  2. You should take it up with the city and not the NFL. They’re (city) the ones who gave away your soccer fields.

  3. The ultimate factor is simple, is this property private or civic? If it is civic then unfortunately these parents and children must realize for the betterment of the community and financial windfall their one season is going to be forfeited. It is a life lesson, not everything is always “fair” nor does it always benefit you directly but it is necessary. The blue participation awards will have to wait until next season

  4. What is with these people, the super bowl is lot more important that their soccer. Get real and get with the program, parents. We expect the field to be in primo condition and since there has been problems with this field, we don’t need a bunch of soccer players chewing it up.

  5. They won’t even buy end zone cameras for their own games. Can’t imagine what the soccer fields will look like when the NFL gives them back. Good for the soccer league.

  6. pretty sure they’ve known about this for a long time. sounds like poor planning and sour grapes on their part. i understand its for the kids and i feel for them, but this sounds like soccer league dropped the ball, not the nfl.

  7. Waaaa! The rich kids won’t be able to play on their fancy fields because the biggest event in the country is there! Find some other fields for a couple of months while the biggest event in the country needs the space… These spoiled rich computer nerds don’t live in reality.

  8. An opportunity for the NFL to make a great stand and show some of that integrity that they constantly talk about… In other words they’ll botch it.

  9. With stuffed suits like Goodell leading the way, within one generation they will be paving over football fields for soccer stadiums.

    Goofell and his toadies have no love or appreciation for the on field product. They only care about maximizing profits. This indifference to the quality of the product results in a overly complex rulebook, inconsistent officiating, witch hunts directed at star performers, a push for An 18 game season, more playoff teams, games in London, etc. Goodell and his flunkies are too ignorant to realize that their long term profits are wholly dependent on the quality of their product.

  10. Soccer fields need a minimum of markings and have portable goals.

    I find it very hard to believe that there are not other fields that they could arrange to play on.

    If they crying over missed amenities at the current fields they need to grow up and do without.

    Crikey, drop the law suit and make other arrangements–it’s temporary.

  11. Don’t like soccer. But I’m all for the soccer moms on this issue. Don’t bully the common people. Let the kids play. NFL, back off and come to a resolution that benefits the kids.

  12. Sounds like an attempt at a money grab..locals trying to get a cash settlement but the are S O L ….the city agreed so it’s a done deal

  13. “We’re not trying to ruin the Super Bowl,” said Gautam Dutta, an attorney representing soccer league. “But we want to make sure the kids are provided for. And right now, time’s up. The fields could be paved over as early as Monday.”

    Dude. That’s exactly what you’re doing.

    Did you ask Kyle’s Mom why she’s pissed off? That’s the ONLY place she can shoot selfies for her FB profile without Kyle’s Dad being there!

    Dude.. Kyle’s Dad is WATCHING THE NFL!

    Give me a break. Every city the NFL hosts a big game, they go all out for the kids. I lived in Atlanta during that SB game… I was blown away.

    The NFL took over an ENTIRE PARK in Chicago for last year’s NFL draft. Nobody complained. In fact, they went all out to make sure the kids were good to go.

    Reason #257 why California has too many NFL teams already.

  14. Sorry kiddies, we know we say that you’re important to us and to go play for 60 everyday, but we’re much more important and we’re taking your play fields away…not only taking them but paving them over. Oh sure, we’ll replace them but it won’t be for some months before you can play on them again and truth be told…we the NFL, HATE that form of ‘football’ you’re playing. PFFFFTTT…using a round black and white ball….HA! We mock you. (End Sarcasm)

  15. They’re nowhere else the kids can play soccer anywhere near Santa Clara? Really? The soccer league needs to spend their time and money on something else.

  16. I coached Little League and CYO basketball for quite a few years in our small town.
    Soccer started becoming a sport kids liked to play, which was fine. But then the soccer leagues starting playing it all year round, using the school gyms to play it indoors. That wasn’t fine. Because they took a lot of the kids who played the other sports away.
    I broached the subject to some of the soccer coaches and their answer to me was basically, “too bad, deal with it”.

    So, I couldn’t care less if they pave over every soccer field in the country.

  17. NFL should have to find suitable replacement fields for the teams and leagues during the time they occupy the space. Otherwise, get some shuttles and have the media village somewhere else.

  18. So let me get this right, you have known about this awardment for Super Bowl 50 since 2013 and you have waited till now to create a PR crisis for a bunch of soccer games that could literally be played anywhere. Hmm sounds like lawyer talk, procrastination on the youth league, or just ignorance. Just at the end of the day dad’s and mom’s don’t blame the NFL or the City for this. Blame the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League who should have known better and didn’t protect the children’s youth soccer sooner.

  19. Sorry to tell the parents and kids, who are part of this league but…the NFL could care, less about their little soccer group. And for that matter…the city doesn’t care either…the amount of 💵💰💵💰, about to made from the Super Bowl, far out weighs a youth sports league.

  20. Appears their opportunistic lawsuit may be with the mayor, governor and officials that helped to win the Super Bowl bid.

    The article states – “The space is expected to used as a media village for the Super Bowl, a stipulation agreed upon by the city in bidding for the championship in 2013.”

  21. I’m assuming that thsee plans were given the green light soon after the awarding of the Superbowl. Whilst I appreciate that quite a lot of games will have been cancelled/postponed/moved, surely there has been enough time to rearrange fixtures.

  22. Oh I get it, agree to it and then right before modifications begin file a lawsuit pitting the “greedy” NFL against the poor little soccer players.

    I am sure the lawyers for the soccer mom’s see’s a nice opportunity to squeeze more money from the NFL (not that that is a bad thing).

    No doubt some extra $$$ from the NFL will make the soccer mom’s feel better.

  23. Sounds like a Santa Clara problem, not the NFL’s. Sue the crook politicians for doing it. I don’t fault the NFL one bit for taking advantage of what’s offered to them.

    That said, I think the NFL has the biggest racket going with the Super Bowl. They pay nothing! That’s right, nothing to the host city for the super bowl. All expenses pertaining to it are picked up by the taxpayers. Security (tons of police OT), any planning, etc is provided to the NFL for free (from their side). Pretty sweet deal, right?

    As a constituent of NJ, I was appalled to hear that. Host your super bowl elsewhere and not on my dime!

  24. Soccer players need to learn a valuable lesson at a young age: no one in this country cares about your sport. Football on the other hand, everyone cares about. Plus, soccer has more head injuries than football so look at it as a way to extend your lives for another few years.

  25. If this was offered in the original bid, and PFT knows that the NFL has rights to the facility from January 4-March 2, it must have been communicated to the soccer league at some point. And if it wasn’t, their lawsuit should go against the facility.

    It seems like somebody failed to make a contingency plan and decided to schedule 250 games at a facility they couldnt use and are trying to save face.

  26. Did the city and NFL not realize that 250 games would be affected by this?
    The arrogance of the city and NFL sometimes is beyond words.
    Nobody ever thought to talk to this group about this? Amazed that city’s sell there souls for a game, ONE game.

  27. The city agreed to the terms of the NFL when they were awarded the game. It is too bad the soccer fields will be occupied during the preparation of the game and its aftermath. The NFL stated that they would replace the fields once they were finished using the facility. Anyone with complaints now should have made them back when the agreement was being ironed out. Not now. Little kids playing soccer should not in any way affect the game or anything surrounding it. It is a frivolous law suit….a waste of time.

  28. “We’re not trying to ruin the Super Bowl,” said Gautam Dutta,…

    That’s good. Because you’re about to be steamrollered.

  29. Just not another Seattle-New England Super Bowl please. Yes it was a very entertaining game but it was my first time ever watching the Super Bowl that I wasn’t really cheering for either team. Although I did find myself cheering for the Patriots in the 4th quarter because to me they were the lesser of two evils.

  30. The field was givin to the NFL for that amount of time win Santa Clara won the bid for the super bowl so the city gave them the field and the field is owned by the city of Santa Clara so there is nothing the soccer league can do except cry about it

  31. What probably happened was the city agreed to give up the fields, and may not have informed the public, hoping to keep it quite till there was no time to do anything about it.

    The question I have for the NFL is – can you compromise a bit? Can you still get stuff done if you start a few weeks later? Thus reducing the cancelled Soccer games from 250 to 175 or something like that? As a gesture of good will?

  32. Some of you brain damaged comments are laughable as they are ignorant.

    Football, the only ootball, not that fake semi rugby looking version, is cared for in USA although some of you dinosaurs want to think and speak otherwise.

    American eggball is overhyped, borimg and senseless “sport” that one has to be brain damaged/washed to go thru 3-4 hrs of nothing.

  33. Folks,

    For all of those posting that the soccer league must have known about it for two years – nope. They were just told of this on December 15. The NFL and the City of Santa Clara deliberately hid details of the agreements until forced to release them then.

    This broke a major public meeting law, by the way – which technically may render the agreements between Santa Clara and the NFL invalid.

    Also, the city DID agree to find alternative fields – but the one single field they found not only isn’t a regulation field, but isn’t even available when most of the games need to be played.

    Finally, many of these kids aren’t “rich” Silicon Valley types, but inner-city kids for whom this is a huge issue. Some of these kids are good enough to hope for college scholarships, and some are scheduled to play these games in front of college scouts – games that now may be cancelled completely.

    At the end of the day, there is NO reason why this had to happen – either Santa Clara should have been able to find or create proper alternative fields, or they should have been far more open and given appropriate notice.

    And if the NFL says this problem may make it impossible for them to host the Super Bowl, then they’re either lying or have extremely poor planning – dealing with a minor problem such as this one outdoor area perhaps being unavailable should be an easy contingency to fix. If they don’t have contingency plans for something small like this, what happens if a much bigger issue comes up?

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