Semi-pro football team disputes city's fees

Field Complaints For Semi-Pro Football Team

LOCKPORT, NY - A semi-pro football team in Lockport has a bit of a beef with city government.

Members of team say the city is charging too much money for the team to play on a city field. That team is called the Lockport Rampage, they play at Outwater Park. And, for some members of the team, this battle they have with the city is personal. But, the city says there's a good reason for those fees.
 
"This is our frozen tundra here," said Jeremy Brown, the manager of the Lockport Rampage, referring to Outwater Park, "This is my childhood field, came here as a kid I grew up watching other semi-pro teams play here."
 
And for years, he has helped carry the torch.
 
Lockport Rampage, a is a semi-pro football team, part of the Northeastern Football Alliance. Brown says in the past his team never had to pay to use this field.
 
REPORTER: How many years have you played on this field and never paid a dime?
 
"I would say from 2007," he said.
 
But, he says things changed a couple years ago.
 
"They decided that they were going to start charging us for paint, usage of the field," Brown said.
 
He says $3,000 was due last season.
 
REPORTER: The amount that they're asking for, is that exhausting your financial resources?
 
"Yeah it is exhausting because we fuel off the gate fees that we receive off sponsorships, off team fees," Brown said, "it's not a guarantee that you're going to get a certain amount every year."
 
And, he says all concession profits are taken by the Lockport Little Loop -- a completely separate team that also uses this field.
 
"If we could take care of our own concession, we could use that money towards I guess paying for the field now that we have to," he said.
 
REPORTER: So what do you think is going to happen here? What's going to be the resolution?
 
"I think at the end of the day there's probably a good chance that we're not going to be playing at this field any longer," Brown said. 
 
And, 2 On Your Side did get a response from the mayor of Lockport Anne McCaffery -- she says the fees are needed for maintenance and that contractually, Lockport Little Loop pays for the concessions. 
 
"We have Lockport Little Loop football, which is a youth football organization that runs the concession stand they take care of the property, make any repairs as needed and required to purchase the food, and comply with health department requirements," she said.
 
The season starts in just a couple of months. It is important for both sides to possibly work something out, not only for the love of the game, but because many of these players are trying to get noticed by pro teams.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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