HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, flag football; all are 'off limits' now at a popular Hartford park.
City officials say athletes are tearing up the grass at Bushnell Park, so they're banning certain sports and games unless you have a permit.
Wednesday night Bushnell Park was packed full of athletes from volleyball, to soccer, to a football game between Travelers employees.
"We just challenged them to a competitive game of football," said Zorona Parker, Colorado. "And it's really fun, it's nice to get out of the office, it's great weather.
"Do you have a permit," asked News 8's Bob Wilson.
"No," replied Parker.
"Do you have a permit," Wilson asked another park goer.
"I do not have a permit," said Larry Maggi, of Hartford.
Since there is so much activity at the park, the city is cracking down on sporting events and team that don't pull use permits. The Mayor says if you strap on cleats, put down cones and play regularly, that is when fairness comes into play. All other parks require permits, and the Bushnell is no exception.
"Do you think they need to be a little bit carefully so people don't tear the park up," asked Wilson.
"I can understand cleats, yes," said Maggi. "I can understand a certain type of net ripping the grass up, but we use plastic stakes."
Later in the evening is the time of night at Bushnell Park when people come out for their activities. Wednesday night News 8 saw employees playing in a competitive football game, Grace Academy had cones out playing soccer, and one man setting up a volleyball net for a group to play. The question becomes, of those groups which needs a permit and why. News 8 talked to some of them and they said that they just didn't understand the rules.
"Do you think you need a permit," asked Wilson.
"Not a clue," said B.J. James, of East Windsor. "It wouldn't seem like you would need one to come and play, it seems like a pretty open place."
So where does the city draw the line? On his Facebook page the Mayor says the bottom line is that if you want to engage in a competition like setting, file for a permit .
"That's weird, I'm not used to that," Parker said. "Denver has lots of open parks and I wouldn't even question using a permit, people don't even think about that."
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