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Youth Soccer League Sues NFL over Super Bowl 50 Construction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2016

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walks off the stage after speaking on the opening day of Levi's Stadium Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Santa Clara, Calif. The San Francisco 49ers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open their new home. The $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium, which took only about 27 months to build, also will host the NFL Super Bowl in 2016 and other major events. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Super Bowl 50 is nearly a month away, with the NFL playoffs set to begin Saturday. Naturally, there are plenty of preparations to be made at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California—but a youth soccer league is fighting those preparations, according to David Louie of ABC7News.com.

"A youth soccer league has filed a lawsuit against the National Football League and the city of Santa Clara," Louie reported. "That's because the NFL started construction Monday in the soccer fields across from Levi's Stadium as part of plans for Super Bowl 50."

The NFL began construction with plans to create "a media village, security and event staging," per Louie. That construction is estimated to be displacing 6,000 youth soccer players.

Louie noted that "Santa Clara officials said they are going to turn over the field to the NFL even though a court challenge by the youth soccer league is set for Wednesday."

Soccer league attorney Gautam Dutta commented on the situation, per Louie: "The judge had made it clear that while there was no ... temporary restraining order in place, that he would not be pleased if anything drastic occurred in the interim before the previously scheduled Wednesday afternoon hearing."

According to Louie's report, the NFL said it would not dig on the fields, but this photo suggests otherwise:

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David Louie @abc7david

16 holes dug already on youth soccer field as #SuperBowl50 preps start, even as youth league seeks injunction. https://t.co/36wZVuoS44

Ramona Giwargis of the San Jose Mercury News provided more images as well as the opinion of local soccer advocates:

Ramona Giwargis @RamonaGiwargis

"It's very disheartening," soccer advocates say of @NFL digging field for @SuperBowl prep despite a pending lawsuit https://t.co/CUq9KuHeCt

The Super Bowl is set for Sunday, Feb. 7.

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