BOCA RATON, Fla. - For an entire football season, hundreds of young Boca Raton football players thought they were going to get to play the biggest game of their season at FAU's brand new football stadium.
"You can fit so many people in there. People get to watch you," said Austin Wells, an 11-year-old in the East Boca Tackle Football League.
There are 650 youth football players in the East Boca and West Boca leagues.
For about four months, coaches had been telling them that FAU gave them a thumbs up to play their end of season championship games at their brand new, gleaming stadium.
"All the parties were in agreement. All the paperwork was in order. Miraculously enough it all came together about four months ago," said commissioner Ken Kron.
They'd even gotten an email this week from FAU about parking and concessions.
Then Kron got a dreaded phone call, and told the kids Thursday that the game was off.
"I was crying. I was very disappointed," said Wells.
"I was really sad. And I was about to cry," said eight-year-old Julian Nutovits.
Coaches say it hurts because much of the league's energy this year was pointed towards their super Saturday at FAU.
They took part in FAU football camps and helped sell about 300 sets of season tickets to Owls football games.
"We held up our end of the bargain. And we feel that FAU dropped the ball on us at this one," said Kron.
FAU released a statement Friday night:
"Unfortunately, as a result of the stadium being less than a month old and because FAU has played three football games, the young and freshly rooted sod has not had the opportunity to recover."
"It was determined that the playing surface needed the off weekend to repair itself."
The leagues rescheduled the championship games for West Boca High, but not before Austin Wells tried one last time with an email to the school.
"You guys said we could play there. If you're not going to keep your promise, then why did you tell Ken we could play there?" Wells wrote in an email.
In their statement, Florida Atlantic University said they pride themselves on being a good community partner, and that they hope to host those types of community events at the stadium in the future.
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