SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco Bay Area judge has sided with the National Football League in a lawsuit brought by a youth soccer club aiming to keep the 2016 Super Bowl off a city soccer park, officials said on Wednesday.
The Santa Clara Youth Soccer League filed a suit against the city last Wednesday, seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the NFL from using the 11-acre Youth Soccer Park as a site for temporary broadcast and media facilities for Super Bowl 50.
That lawsuit was expanded on Monday to include the NFL as a defendant.
Court records show the soccer league objected to use of the park, which sits next to Levi’s Stadium, venue for the Feb.7 game, for non-soccer purposes.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Huber ruled against the soccer league on Tuesday but scheduled a hearing for Jan. 11 to consider their request for an injunction, according to the Santa Clara city attorney’s office.
“At this time, the City will continue to work with the Host Committee and NFL to implement and honor the City’s commitments from the Super Bowl bid of 2013,” the city attorney’s office said in a statement.
Representatives for the soccer league could not immediately be reached.
Gautam Dutta, an attorney for the league, told the local San Jose Mercury News that, while his clients were disappointed in the ruling, they: “remain confident in the merits of our case. The city broke the law, and the kids are suffering for it. We will have our day in court on Monday.”
The city attorney’s office said local lawmakers submitted a bid in March 2013 to host Super Bowl 50, which would have the game played at the San Francisco 49ers’ home field of Levi’s Stadium and open up other city property for Super Bowl operations.
The NFL intends to move in trailers to the soccer park no more than a month before the game and remove them less than two weeks later, according to city officials.
The city attorney’s office said it was working to find alternative sites for the youth soccer league to play their games and all costs associated with overhauling and maintaining the field would be covered by the NFL.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Andrew Hay