BRIDGETON, Mo. (AP) -- A youth baseball tournament is moving from fields near a St. Louis County landfill amid health concerns.
The third annual Cinco de Mayo Slugfest tournament was scheduled to be played this weekend at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a high amount of gamma radiation was found in a soil sample collected last week from a parking lot drainage at the athletic complex, which is less than a mile from the radioactive West Lake Landfill.
The tests were organized by nearby residents after an attorney suing the landfill’s owner donated a radiation detector. A tournament organizer says some parents among the nearly 100 teams expected raised concerns about the original location. Tests were not conducted on soil from the ball fields.
A nearby restaurant told News 4 the tournament's cancellation will hurt business. The owner said she will be forced to cut back on staffing if future tournaments are cancelled.
“A lot of them (players) will come over to hang out between those game, or after those games, before to wherever they are staying," said Sports Café owner Michelle Dick.
Bridgeton Athletic Supervisor John Bell told News 4 there tournaments scheduled for the next several weekends. Bell also said organizers of the next two tournaments said they plan to hold games as scheduled.
However, Bell told News 4 if cancellations continue, then the complex will have to make difficult choices.
“It will reach that point to where we will have to start cutting staff, " Bell said.