Mobile city officials respond to confusion over Sage Park hours

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A social media post has caused some confusion about what time players must leave Sage Park. The post claims Mobile police kicked soccer players off the field earlier than usual.

Dr. Michael Bucknell plays soccer at Sage park and says park rules have always remained the same.

“So we’ve been going out there for the last eight years,” Bucknell said. “Every other Friday night we play on the men’s league out there.”

Like several soccer players, Bucknell spends a lot of his time at Sage Park. He says the standard rule has always been soccer is over when the lights go off at 10 p.m.

That rule has remained the same up until last Friday.

“About five or seven police cars coming rolling into the parking lot with lights flashing,” Bucknell said. “We started asking questions, like, ‘What is going on?’ They were like, ‘The park is closed a 9 o’clock.’ But we said the lights always go off at 10 o’clock.”

The City of Mobile Parks and Recreation Department said this incident was a mistake by a young officer and released a statement stating:

“There is signage throughout several of the city of Mobile’s parks that say our facilities are closed to the public after dark. However…if the lights are on, the courts and fields are open to the public.”

Bucknell is not convinced that this was a mistake.

“You don’t just send seven police cars to kick anyone out unless this came from further up the chain,” Bucknell said.

WKRG News 5 reached out to City Councilman Fred Richardson for input, and he said the lights should go off across the entire park for everyone at the same time.

“I say cut them all at the same time, all off at the same time,” Richardson said.

According to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, lights at both the soccer field and the basketball court go off at 10 p.m.

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