Joliet Park District asked to build football fields
By Bob Okon email@example.com June 27, 2012 9:52PM
Updated: July 29, 2012 4:34PM
JOLIET — Youth football is big in Joliet, but players have little room to practice, Francisco Bermudez told park officials this week.
Bermudez, who is with the Joliet Ravens organization, and other representatives from youth football groups have asked the Joliet Park District to make fields available for their sport.
“There’s five new football teams in the city of Joliet,” Bermudez told the Joliet Park District board Monday. “There’s one youth football field.”
He estimated about 1,500 youths are involved in football organizations in the city. And, while the park district has many soccer fields, it has no football fields other than Memorial Stadium, which is available for a fee.
Park Board President Brett Gould noted that the soccer fields are available for the park district’s soccer program.
Bermudez suggested the park district should have a football program. But Gould said, “We don’t necessarily want to compete with some of our local youth sports (organizations). We don’t do baseball either.”
The park district does have baseball diamonds, however. And the board on Monday approved initial funding to build a new baseball diamond at Desmond Park.
But, football is more difficult to accommodate, said park district Executive Director Dominic Egizio. Football fields require up to twice as much space as baseball diamonds, and the insurance liability is more expensive, he said.
Egizio, however, said he would continue to look for ways to accommodate youth football somehow someday. He said he’s also heard from other football organizations about the issue.