By Jeff Odom
More than 15,000 pumped up Mitt Romney supporters packed Land O’ Lakes High’s football stadium at a rally and left behind $25,000 in damage.
The Pasco County Schools district sent a bill for the crumpled grass, broken bleachers, bent field goal post and other damage to presidential candidate Romney’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) after a rally Oct. 27.
According to the district spokeswoman Jennifer Krill, a bill for $33,783 was to cover the cost of the damage, along with other expenses like leasing, extra custodial staff, air conditioning, food and beverages for the attendees and media personnel.
The biggest chunk of the bill comes from the need to replace the aluminum bleachers ($24,066.45), which Krill said were damaged by people jumping up and down.
The GOP paid the bill in full Nov. 2.
Krill said the county had never hosted a major event like the rally before and will be reviewing its policy for any large-scale ones in the future.
“They are going to discuss different procedures and guidelines,” Krill said. “We used the Facility Usage Agreement and since this event was much larger than what we typically would have at a school, they’re going to review that agreement and see how we can move forward in the future when we host larger events.”
Krill said that the district does not yet have a date for when the damage can be fixed, but added students’ education will not be affected once repairs start.
The damaged field did force the Gators boys soccer team to move its home game against Wiregrass Ranch Nov. 5 to the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex on Collier Parkway.