Vandals strike in the night at McFee

While people were sleeping through last week’s snowfall, a vandal made tracks on and around the soccer field in McFee Park.

David Smoak, Town of Farragut administrator, said during the middle of the night during the snowfall between late Tuesday, Jan. 16, and early Wednesday, Jan. 17, someone drove “a large vehicle all over the [soccer] field and the side of the hills leading up to the field.”

The tires on the vehicle used were “knobby-type” tires, he said.

Since there still was snow on the field Friday, Jan. 19, Smoak said he did not have an estimated cost of damage but added, “It will be costly. It is extensive damage.

“We want to get the word out to the public,” he added. “Anyone who has heard someone drive by or saw something or has any information, [we ask them] to contact us and/or Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

“There’s been multiple vandalism events on the field in the last several months, but this has been, by far, the worst.”

“People don’t understand.”

Making the problem worse, Smoak said, “is the fact that it is a Bermuda grass field … That grass does not start growing until May.”

“Natural turf fields are scheduled to open March 3,” Wendy Smith, Farragut Public Relations coordinator, stated in an e-mail Monday, Jan. 22. “… Because the grass is Bermuda, which doesn’t grow until warm weather, the delay in field use could be significant.”

“It could be the end of June or July [before the field could be used], and then we close it down in August,” Smoak said. “It’s going to cost us two to three months of rental fee [revenues].

“It really limits the availability of that field in the summer,” he added. “We will be unable to use the field as much as we could have this year.

“This is a public park, and one or two people who ruin it is unfortunate for the people who use it.”