KIRKWOOD, Mo. – COVID-19 strikes out another favorite St. Louis area institution for young athletes as the Kirkwood Athletic Association locks the gates to their fields.
2019 and 2020 delivered a one-two punch to the facility.
During a season, as many as 340 softball and baseball teams play on the fields of the Kirkwood Athletic Association, both day and night.
“It’s awful,” said Eric Eickmeyer, president of the association. “If I could turn back the hands of time and redo 2020.”
Eickmeyer said the St. Louis County ruling that put a stop to kids sports really hurt this place. Revenue is down 90 percent.
“I understand. I’m not really happy about it. We haven’t had any COVID-19 cases down here,” he said.
Last year, flooding cut the complex’s revenue by 85 percent. The place was closed from Memorial Day to July 4.
This is the home field for Nerinx Hall High School. Nerinx gave the okay for the girls to play. They’re thankful the association is allowing them to go ahead with their season.
“I’m very grateful,” said Nerinx Coach Dawn Grass. “Very nice of them to keep it open so that we can continue.”
The association president said one of the hardest things was laying off three employees.
“I think of them more as friends than I do employees,” Eickmeyer said. “It was tough they’re smart they knew it was coming eventually.”
He’s hoping things improve concerning COVID-19 in 45 days and the county will allow kids to play sports again. Eickmeyer said if any high school athletic director needs a place to play or practice, even at night, he’d be glad to talk with you.