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International soccer coming back to Barron Stadium

Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2023–6:35 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

 Luis Goya asks the public works and transit committee and traffic commission to close a portion of the levee on March 26 during an international soccer game at Barron Stadium

International soccer is returning to Barron Stadium later this month.

Guatemala National Team will play Chivas de Guadalajara, a top Mexican club team, at Barron Stadium on March 26.

Last year, a similar game brought out around 6,000 spectators. This year’s game could be attended by as many as 8,000 fans.

Luis Goya, who teaches and coaches soccer at Rome Middle School is helping to promote the event.

On Wednesday, he petitioned Rome’s public works, transit, and traffic commission to close a portion of the levee for the game. Goya said during the last game, around 300 people gathered on the levee to watch the game, which causes him concern about safety.

“If something happened, my conscious would be an issue that night,” he told the committee.

Goya said his group would pay for the police it would take to keep people off the levee in that area during the game.

Major Chris DeHart with the Rome Police Department said he thinks if you close the levee, the chance of the game being a safe event will increase.

“There will likely be a large amount of foot traffic,” he said. A lot of the participants will be parking on the other side of the levee and walking. You’re also going to have some folks who can’t get a ticket or who cannot afford a ticket that will want to watch the game. If that happens, they are going to bring their kids, they’re going to bring their chairs, and you’re going to have all kinds of stuff that could potentially go sideways and spill out in the roadway because of the potential volume this event had the potential to bring.”

The committee agreed with the organizers of the game and the police and gave the go-ahead to close that section of the levee for the game.

Once again, it will be at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 26 at Barron Stadium.

Committee approves street closings

The public works, transit, and traffic committee also gave a thumbs up for street closings associated with Downtown Rome Events. Mitchell Plaza will close at 4 p.m. on Jun.2, Jul. 7, Aug. 4, and Sep. 1 for the First Friday Concert Series. The 100, 200, 300, and 400 blocks of Broad Street will be closed on May. 6 for ROFLO Fest, and on Oct. 14 for Fiddlin’ Fest. A Portion of Spider Web Drive will be closed from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jun. 17 for a Juneteenth celebration.

The committee also approved a petition from a local developer to close, abandon and acquire 846 square feet of public right-of-way at the dead-end cul-de-sac of Parks Court. This is near the old AT&T site on Second Avenue where a townhome development is underway.