Denver Parks and Recreation limits sports fields access due to drought

Fields closed until April 1

DENVER - As drought conditions linger, Denver Parks and Recreation is closing its grass fields for sports including soccer until April 1.

Parks spokesman Jeff Green says the fields are in bad shape because of not enough moisture, and parks officials want to try to let the grass recover enough to be available this summer.

Green says the snow this week has helped, but the fields still need more moisture.

Fields for baseball and softball will open March 18 because those sports lead to less wear and tear on the ground, but fields for other sports won't open until later.

"We have 3/4 of our membership already registered, expecting to start March 1st and pushing it back a full month shortens our season dramatically," said Aaron Nagel, executive director of the Skyline Soccer Association. "It puts the short term liability in jeopardy and the long term liability of our club in jeopardy."

Green said 90 organizations have applied for permits to use the city's athletic fields.

"We have multiple teams that permit those fields, it might be several hours a day that those fields are being used," he said. "Given the conditions that the athletic fields are in right now, that type of usage would absolutely destroy the fields. If drought conditions exist won't be able to use water."

Green also told 7NEWS that while city golf courses are currently open, they have considered closing them on a rotating basis.