Sunday, September 17

I'm Not Blaming Armada For This...

I don't know enough about the situation to blame anyone, so this is not an article complaining about Jacksonville Armada, only it kind of is. Here's the deal, or lack of deal: my kid plays soccer on a co-ed grade 5-8 team that plays against other such teams. These are private schools, most of which without their own fields. We're not ritzy schools with big-time donors, so we use public parks. However, the arrangement we had for the use of Ed Austin Park has dissolved under Armada rule.

I guess I kind of assume that there was never a contract or official agreement. The soccer fields at Ed Austin seem to be used for league play, and the last few leagues seemingly allowed our teams to play on their fields. Two games a week for a couple of months, I'd estimate, and the games are from 4pm to 5:30, so I know it never interfered with league play.

It seems that the arrangement lasted for about a decade, with each league mentioning it to the next, and nobody having an issue with it. Everything seemed to be the same this year as Armada took over the fields, I assume for their own leagues. Then the fields weren't ready for our first game, or our next two games. And then, the second week into our season, we were told the fields would not be available for us.

I assume the folks at Armada decided against continuing the arrangement. I am sure the cost of renting the fields was prohibitive, so now we will drive 30 minutes for each home game rather than a short five-minute jaunt. I also assume it's an insurance issue, as these sorts of things often are, and Armada's ownership is worth a lot of money, so I guess I understand the desire to protect that money.

It also reminds me a little of my experience playing baseball in Milwaukee. A wealthy baseball lover took over our nearly bankrupt local park leagues. He invested money in new fields that looked really great. But he also got an obscenely good deal from Milwaukee County, then turned around to try to make a huge profit on the deal. He was a businessman, and he saw the opportunity to take his passion and turn it into extra income for himself. The fields were dangerous because lack of netting, there was nothing for little kids to do while there besides dodging foul balls, and the fields themselves started falling apart after a couple of seasons. But I'm sure the profits were still there.

Again, I don't know enough about Armada ownership or the leagues run by the team to make any accusations. I do wonder whether or not we want all of our public parks (and not just Ed Austin) to be run by elite leagues. There's something to be said for recreation-type leagues and teams. Most of our kids aren't going pro. My kids want me to take them to some Armada games, but I kind of have a bad taste for the team right now. I'm sure it won't last, and I'll probably become a fan. Maybe not this year, since I'll be spending all my ticket money on gas for my kid's home games.

Contact Brian


Email *

Message *

Pennies From Heaven AKA Welfare for Writers

The reason why we have ads on this site is because that's one way writers make money online. Your presence on this site right now might make a penny for our family. Clicking on an ad might get us closer to $.50. Buying something online as a result of clicking on a link can make us a few dollars. We will not get rich from this money, but every penny helps out. Every like or share or re-post or follow. Please, make a donation to our family by clicking.

JAX Weather


Jacksonville jax money Florida crime housing activities vehicles economic development school home news transportation planning police Duval website design kids politics traffic research TV neighbor reviews sports taxes parks statistics East Arlington writing history environment St. Johns roads travel water employment fun men previous owner rankings Arlington weather women beach review business church jaguars pollution dating fashion football guns hurricane library race tourism fatalities health care zoning baseball music JEA Mayport restaurant summer animals games military unf Lyft St. Augustine education flooding pets spanish AC Halloween farms film french hockey noise ocean po radio Duval County Fletcher high school armada cats christmas controversy debate decision fall fort caroline style superhero 2021 AAA Roadside Assistance Advice Blowhard Cambridge AICE County Sheriffs Duval County Public Schools Easter FDOT FL Google Gyros Haretna Hilton Honors James jaeger Kernan Boulevard Lutheran Milano's Ocala Pressers SEO St. Johns County Starbucks T-shirts Tim Tebow VW acting ad of the week addiction again all balls arts asked avoid behavior belief best bi-polar boo celebration chances chump colleges column common comparison consequences councilmembers credit card cuisine difficult to use don't work doors driving games entertainment experience expression faith finding food frustration future gambling gaming gas station grass hack handles high school exchange homes housing market humor illegal traffic stops impact importance improve indians informed infrastructure insightful issue. killing language last chance light boat parade lights local dating scene lottery love made mascot meaning mental health merchandise mistakes mood swings no U-turn sign no brains notebooks opening opinion origins ownership party paying for hotels personal opinion pet ownership pitbull play players pooper popular pound sand program protect real estate reason reform religion request revenue rewards program rights road trip save school identity school pride school spirit service simple sketchy slang someone state struggle support system take down taste teachers thank you timucuan traffic laws traffic stop universities unpredictability usage vehicle pet peeves welcome workplace