A Festival’s Damage at a Lawrence Football Field Could Cost $875,000

Its turf will probably need to be replaced.

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Veterans Memorial Stadium (2013) by John Jewell on Flickr/Creative Commons

The pictures were pretty stunning: A football field in Lawrence strewn with trash and broken glass, a beer truck parked overnight near a high school.

Backlash to the organizers of a festival that used the Veterans Memorial Stadium last week was swift. Lawrence Superintendent Jeff Riley called it “shameful.”

Now, there’s a dollar amount attached to the mess: $875,000. That’s how much officials say it will cost to replace the field’s turf and undo the damage the Festeja Boston festival has caused, according to the Eagle-Tribune.

The city’s football, soccer, and field hockey teams will not be able to use the field for months, officials say, nor will a national marching band competition scheduled for the end of the month. The teams will have to play elsewhere in town, but as the Eagle-Tribune reports, losing the field is more than just an inconvenience:

The incident could have a particularly outsized impact on Lawrence Pop Warner, which derives much of its revenue from concession sales at the stadium. Jennie Foote, president of Lawrence Pop Warner, said the organization typically brings in around $1,500 for regular season games and $2,000 for playoff games, and that money is used to help keep costs down for kids to be able to play.

Foote said the organization already had at least one game scheduled at the stadium later this fall, and there likely would have been a couple more played as well. She said Lawrence will now have to play all of its playoff games on the road, meaning Lawrence Pop Warner could be facing thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Officials have indicated they plan to sue.