PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach residents are starting to question usage rules at Frank Brown Park.
The questions come after a father and six kids training for soccer were told to leave the field last night.
Wednesday evening, Daniel Griffin headed to Frank Brown Park with his two kids and their four friends; all varsity soccer players at Arnold High School.
“We went out there with our balls, gear, cones, pinnies and went to the far corner of the field and just set up and started training,” Griffin said.
He went to the far back soccer fields. The gates were wide open and the fields were empty, but their outing was quickly disrupted.
“Got out of the golf cart and just screamed out at us who authorized you to be here,” Griffin said. “And I said excuse me and he said under what authorization do you have to be here and I said none I’m just a parent training six kids.”
Griffin said the worker then asked him about his insurance and claimed they were an organized team.
“It was just rude,” Griffin said. “It was really rude and these are just kids trying to put in the extra work.”
We contacted Panama City Beach officials for comment.
They issued this statement which says:
“Parks and Recreation staff have met with the coach of the soccer players practicing last night on the field. There was a golf cart on the field last night which is not allowed and drew the staff’s attention. Also, the field was reserved for adult soccer play. We want everyone to enjoy the facilities but want to be sure we protect the condition and follow protocols. Parks and Rec does not want to turn anyone away but the reality is the fields are in high demand. Anyone wanting to use the fields should check with Parks and Rec to ensure availability.”
Griffin said the worker claimed the field was reserved for a game at 7 p.m
“We were planning on leaving at 6:35 anyway because the boys had to be at practice in Panama City at 7 o’clock,” Griffin said.
Griffin said he knows of other residents who have also experienced this issue
These incidents have them asking why they have to pay to use what they thought were public park facilities, funded with tax dollars.
“The policy has been around for years where I guess residents and their children can’t practice on the back soccer fields for whatever reason,” Griffin said. “I believe it’s government-owned, the taxpayers own the field.”
City officials would only say they are looking into the incident.