Winsted neighbors want money back after sports dome deflates - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Winsted neighbors want money back after sports dome deflates

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WINSTED, CT (WFSB) -

A sports field under an inflatable dome in Winsted was supposed to be used by six little league teams all winter long, but coaches say snow fall caused the players to miss most of the season.

"This is their last year of little league and we wanted them to have a lot of practice," said parent Ted McDonald. "And the more you play the better you get."

McDonald's was one of the teams expected to play at the Coplex Sports Dome this winter. Each squad paid $700 to use the facility.

"We were told in the beginning that the dome was going to be at least 50 degrees, it never was. Our first practice the kids froze," McDonald said. "I had kids beg not to play anymore because they had to wear gloves. The parents were in there in blankets."

And on top of the chilly conditions, McDonald told Eyewitness News that his team only played two of 11 games it was scheduled to play this season.

He said that every time a there was a storm the owner put the dome down since it wasn't heated and the teams couldn't get inside at all.

"We went two weeks that time then another snowstorm came," McDonald said. "Same thing over again - he put the dome down because he doesn't heat it. And we haven't played since."

Eyewitness News tried to track down Chris Lambert, the owner of the Coplex Sports Dome. However, employees told Eyewitness News that he had not been seen for days.

Eyewitness News discovered a sign leading to the dome, which told people to "keep out unsafe structure."

The building inspector for Windsted told Eyewitness News the heavy snow on top of the dome from Blizzard Charlotte damaged the electrical boxes and some of the doors inside the dome.

Town officials said they won't let anybody in until the problems are fixed and they inspect it.

After more attempts by Eyewitness News, Lambert told the station over the phone that the dome is now damaged and unstable.

"I can't let anybody in there until those repairs are made, for safety issues," he said.

He claims everyone who paid to play over the winter will be getting their money back for the time they didn't use.

"The games that they haven't played we're going give them their money back for," he said.

Lambert told Eyewitness News that he needs the request for refund in writing by the head of the league before he'll give the money back.

He added he's no longer taking reservations for dome time, which is what the little league parents had been worried about.

"He's just taking all this money from all these people and no restitution," McDonald said. "He just keeps going and going and going."

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