As the autumn days get shorter in St. Petersburg (Fla.), little leaguers are faced with the spooky prospect of playing out the rest of the season in the dark, if the St. Petersburg Little League can’t get the money together to pay their electric bill. The monthly cost to run the floodlights at the field is around $1,000.
The league has profits from registration and fees wrapped up in a management company called Jevin, which is facing chargebacks from a dozen or so other leagues. The St. Petersburg organization has not seen any sign of the $35,000 owed to them by Jevin.
League president David Vann has tried multiple times to contact employees at Jevin, but hasn’t made much progress. Vann told Channel 8 News that rather than an explanation as to where their money is, he has been provided with a lot of excuses: “Dog died, sorry I’ve been out of town, I’ve been sick.”
The situation has Vann worried for the safety of his kids. “As we move into the end of the season, we’re going to be playing in the dark all the time, which can be more dangerous for bigger kids hitting the ball high in the air,”
Jim Kenrick, soccer dad and coach and manager for the league, is having a hard time wrapping his mind around Jevin’s actions, calling it akin to theft. “It’s hard to believe that people would steal from kids’ futures and their ability to play,” he said.
So far, the St. Petersburg league has scraped by using a GoFundMe account to pay for uniforms and ballfield maintenance, but officials say this is a short-term solution.