St. Charles County baseball team loses thousands, demands answer -

St. Charles County baseball team loses thousands, demands answers after tournament canceled

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New Melle Vikings. Credit: KMOV New Melle Vikings. Credit: KMOV

Parents know youth sports can be expensive. 

In June a St. Charles County team expected to participate in a tournament hosted by an organization called World Baseball Village in Bellevue, Nebraska. 

The players spent months raising money to cover the $8,300 worth of fees associated with the tournament. 

On June 16, a tornado damaged the World Baseball Village complex resulting in the event being canceled. 

Coaches and parents involved with the New Melle Vikings expected to receive refunds, but no money arrived.

Isaiah Hultman said, "We have called everybody" but so far the $8300 is yet to be returned. 

The players echoed Hultman's disappointment.

The 12 and 13-year-old boys told News 4 "we put lots of work into playing in this tournament." 

The World Baseball Village is a complex surrounded by corn fields just outside Omaha.

The fields are owned by the city of Bellevue, Nebraska.

A private group including managing partner Doug Hill leased the fields from the city to operate tournaments like the one the New Melle Vikings expected to play. 

Hill admits "several hundred thousand" is owed to as many as 44 teams. 

News 4 asked Hill if he's going to repay the money. He responded saying "he's not optimistic" but is making attempts to determine if resources are available. 

On June 1, Hill's group made a $250,000 lease payment to the city of Bellevue.

The payment was confirmed by Bellevue city administrator Joe Mangiamelli 

After the fields were damaged teams were contacted via email by the World Baseball Village.

In the email, WPV claimed the city of Bellevue was asked to refund a portion of the lease payment, but that refund did not occur. 

Hill tells News 4 his organization is no longer asking the city to refund a portion of the lease payment.

The city administrator claims the financial responsibility falls solely on Hill's group.

Mangiamelli said, "There was a requirement in the agreement with operators to have insurance for an event like that. They didn't have that insurance. If they had that insurance this would be a moot point." 

News 4 attempted to ask Hill about the insurance claim, but a follow-up email to World Baseball Village was not returned.

Hill confirmed the Nebraska Attorney General contacted him about the situation, but Hill added there was "no fraud, no deceit, terrible circumstances that happened." 

The New Melle Vikings plan to file a complaint with the Nebraska Attorney General.

If you are interested in helping the boys play in another tournament you can contact Isaiah Hultman.

Hultman's email is

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