COLLEGE SOCCER: Copper theft at venue throws wrench into Peninsula teams’ weekend schedule

TUKWILA — Light tower theft at Tukwila’s Starfire Sports Complex, host venue of this weekend’s Northwest Athletic Conference Soccer Championships, has caused big changes to the event’s schedule.

This impacts the Peninsula College men’s and women’s soccer teams semifinals and potentially championship finals.

NWAC Executive Marco Azurdia explained the situation in an email to conference coaches and athletic directors Wednesday night.

“I was notified earlier [Wednesday] by representatives from Starfire Sports Complex that their facility had been vandalized [Tuesday] night. Specifically, power lines to the lights and possibly the scoreboard had been cut and removed.”

Rick Ross, Peninsula’s associate dean for athletics and student programs said the thieves were targeting the copper wiring contained inside electrical boxes on the light fixtures.

Similar stadium thefts have occurred at stadiums in Edmonds and Stanwood earlier this fall.

“Starfire brought in electricians who worked yesterday to try to repair them and are continuing today,” Ross said.

But the damage was apparently too much to fix in a short time frame and the conference has altered its plans.

“Due to electical vandalism that has occurred at Starfire Stadium over the past three days, the NWAC was forced to reschedule the soccer championships so that all games occur during daylight hours,” a statement on the conference website reads.

“In light of the changes, the conference also reluctantly decided to cancel the all-star events that were to occur on Saturday.”

The changes move the previously scheduled women’s semifinal contests up and push the men’s semifinals to Saturday.

The Peninsula women will face Tacoma at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15.

The Peninsula men will face Chemeteka at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

Championship finals are still set for Sunday, but the women’s final will kickoff at 11 a.m. with the men’s final following at 2 p.m.

An adult day pass is $16, student and senior citizen day passes are $9 with ID, ages 7 to 12 are $7 and military members with ID and children ages 6 and younger are admitted free.

Starfire also charges a $5 parking fee.

Pay-per-view broadcasts of the contests also are available at nwacsportsnetwork.com.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected].

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