NEWARK (WABC) -- A group of premiere youth league soccer players were in for quite a surprise when they headed to their game in Newark last weekend. The game that was eventually postponed due to an unexpected opponent that was not on either team: a helicopter parked at midfield.
The STA U13 soccer team was set to play the Cedar Stars Pre-Academy at St. Benedict's Prep at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, but the field was cleared about 15 minutes before kickoff because of a scheduling hiccup involving the chopper of New Jersey Devils co-owner Josh Harris.
Harris was attending the Devils game, which ended later than anticipated after going into overtime.
Around 8 p.m., parents and coaches decided to cancel the game.
A Prudential Center spokesman said Harris has an agreement with the school and regularly uses the field as a helipad, as do other helicopters that land in the area. But Harris clearly felt bad about what happened and apologized in a statement:
"I sincerely apologize to the kids and their coaches and families for the cancellation of their soccer game in Newark on Sunday night. 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."
Devils co-owner's helicopter on Newark field prompts cancelation of youth soccer game