Organizers of a local independent youth football league asked the Mobile City Council Tuesday to help support more than 200 players registered to take part in the organization this year.
Harold Jordan, a coach for the Toulminville Titans, told councilors the organization needed funding for grandstands, wanted access to the Figures Park concession stand and permission to practice on a field in Toulminville.
Although initially receiving pushback during the league’s first season, Jordan said the organization’s nine teams will now play their home games at Figures Park. Through cooperation with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Titans’ teams can set up tents to sell concessions, which could help the Titans defray the cost of hiring officials.
Matthew Capps, Parks and Recreation director, said teams within the city league get first use of the park its concession stand. As of right now, three city teams are expected to play at Figures Park this season.
Capps said because those teams and their booster control their own concession inventory, the city couldn’t let another team, or league use the actual stand. Instead, he told Lagniappe the Titans would be allowed to set up tents and tables for the purposes of selling concessions at their games.
Jordan said that while the two sides are making headway on the requests, the team still wants somewhere closer to Toulminville to practice. Bush Park, where they practice now, is in the Crichton neighborhood. Council Fred Richardson, who represents Toulminville, said he supported the organization’s right to move its practices, even though it’s not affiliated with the city league.
“My philosophy is if you’re in the city, these are city parks,” he said. “This is a city park. If you want to practice and no one is using it, go practice.”
There are also issues with the scoreboard at Figures Park. While there are scoreboards there, the one for the football field doesn’t currently work, Capps said. Richardson pointed out that money has been approved by council to fix it. While the city league doesn’t require a scoreboard, the independent, or county leagues, do.
Jordan said any funding from the city would be helpful, as many of the coaches are paying out of their own pocket for equipment. Richardson said he’d give the Titans $1,000 from his discretionary funds for equipment, but the rest would have to come from Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office.