Devils owner angers youth soccer parents after helicopter parks on field – CBSSports.com


November 11, 2015 12:13 PM ET

Josh Harris, owner of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, has drawn the ire of a group of youth soccer parents after his helicopter allegedly remained parked on the soccer field on which their kids were supposed to play a game.

According to a message sent to Deadspin, a helicopter commissioned to transport Harris after he took in the Devils game against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday at the Prudential Center landed in the center of the soccer field at Saint Benedict’s Prep School in Newark. The helicopter then remained there waiting for Harris, delaying the game late enough to where the coaches eventually decided to cancel the match.

From Desdspin.com:

My son’s U13 youth soccer team was supposed to play a game at 7:30 last night (Sunday, November 8th) on the field at Benedict’s Prep in Newark. As the two teams of U13 players from the STA 02 NPL and Cedar Stars Pre-Academy team got ready to take the field, a helicopter dropped down from the sky and landed right in the middle of the field. A security detail emerged from the helicopter and informed the boys and their coaches that NJ Jersey Devils owner, Josh Harris, had instructed them to land on the field and wait for him to return from the Prudential Center where the Devils were playing. The boys and their families waited in the cold until finally it became clear that Harris was running late and no one knew when he might return to pick up his ride. Eventually, the coaches decided to call the boys’ game and everyone went home disappointed, frustrated and annoyed. I am not sure when or if Harris ever showed up to remove his helicopter from the field, but I hope that he had a great night. There are a number of 12 year olds and youth soccer fans who did not — because of Harris’s selfish behavior.

According to Deadspin, Harris has an agreement with the school to use the soccer pitch as a helipad. Here is a video of him getting into a similar helicopter at St. Benedicts back in 2014:

Sunday, there apparently was some miscommunication about timing. Additionally, the Devils and Canucks played to overtime, which would have explained the late arrival of the team owner.

That doesn’t make things any better for the kids who had their game canceled for pretty much the weirdest reason imaginable.

UPDATE: Harris has issued an apology to the players and their families. He is also inviting all of the coaches, players and their families to an upcoming Devils game. Via The Record‘s Fire & Ice Blog:

“I sincerely apologize to the kids and their coaches and families for the cancellation of their soccer game in Newark on Sunday night,” Harris said in a statement. “As a Dad, who has spent hundreds of hours watching my kids play sports, I can understand the frustration, and for that, I am truly sorry. Working with St. Benedict’s, we have fixed the process to prevent any future issues. While I can’t take back what happened, I hope the coaches, the teams and their families would be open to being my guest at an upcoming Devils’ game, and I will be extending an invitation.”

Josh Harris (right) has drawn the ire of youth soccer parents. (USATSI)
Josh Harris (right) has drawn the ire of youth soccer parents. (USATSI)


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