Winnipeg football team hires security to quash vandalism
Charleswood Broncos football club worried field will get trashed by people attending carnival nearby
A Winnipeg football club hopes to tackle a yearly problem when the carnival comes to town this weekend.
Almost every summer for the past three decades Wonder Shows has brought its travelling midway to Charleswood in Motion Days.
The carnival sets up shop in a City of Winnipeg parking lot adjacent to Eric Coy Arena and the Charleswood Bronco's football field
But carnival owner Ken Kiernicki said this year they haven’t been greeted with the usual warm welcome.
“It's been always in this location. This year, there seems to be issues where we don't feel welcome,” Kiernicki said.
Councillor for the area Paula Havixbeck said in light of this trend, the city should never have issued the carnival a permit to return to the same location this year.
“The Broncos are essentially left holding the bag, trying to clean it up, trying to get their season going,” said Havixbeck. “It delays some 200-300 kids from being able to use the field at the appropriate starting point in the season and it costs a lot of money.”
The Broncos are paying to have security watch their field throughout the carnival in hopes to prevent damages this year — money the volunteer organization will have to pay for out-of-pocket.
“When you have a function happening or event that is not related to what that area is intended for, such as the wonder shows … anything could happen,” said Joe Leuzzi, president of the Broncos.
Joe Leuzzi said vandals caused more than $5,000 in damage a couple of years ago and he's afraid it will happen again this year.
"We take a lot of pride in our facility and that's why we are feeling a little bit discouraged."
Leuzzi said he has nothing against the carnival itself, but added the city didn't consult the football club before issuing a permit to Wonder Shows.
Leuzzi and Havixbeck both want Wonder Shows to stay in Charleswood — just not near the Broncos field.
It’s hard to say whether they’ll get their wish.
“We're going to get through this year and I guess this will probably be our last year here in Charleswood,” said Kiernicki.