KC baseball team shows up for practice only to find out field demolished

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro baseball team got a strange surprise when they showed up for practice at Hodge Park this week.

The team pays Kansas City's Parks and Recreation Department to use the fields three times a week. On Tuesday night, the coach showed up with his team for practice -- only to find out their field had been demolished.

“When the team showed up, there was rubber. There was construction. There was no field. Basically, there was no field to play baseball. The dirt was not playable,” said Brian Scarcello, the head coach for Rawlings Tigers 13U Baseball Team.

Scarcello said the fencing was torn down, and the dugouts and benches -- all gone.

“That was my expectation, was that if we had paid for this field, this facility in advance, somebody should have reached out to say, 'Hey, that field is no longer going to be available for you. You`re going to have to either relocate to this field, or we have other options for you.' Or at least, 'Here`s your money back for what you paid through November,'" Scarcello said.

The team had a field just a week ago.

“It`s a little confusing when the field that you've practiced on for the last couple months is no longer there. It`s just, like, are we at the right place?” Scarcello said.

The coaches made do with what they could, doing some running, throwing, and catching. But Scarcello said they need an actual field.

“These kids need practice. They`re 13 years old. I mean, they`re not professional baseball players. They can`t just make adjustments to rocks everywhere and holes everywhere in an in-field. You have to actually prepare these fields if you`re going to charge money for their use,” he said.

In a statement, the community services manager for KC Parks and Recreation told FOX4 there was a miscommunication on the extent of the construction that was to take place at Hodge Park. Staff is working to find accommodations for those teams that have been displaced and have already placed many of the teams at other KC parks.

Scarcello said they have until Saturday to figure out where they're going to be holding their practices.

KC Parks and Recreation also emphasized it apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused the families and teams that use its facilities.

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