Law Enforcement Says Location Behind Player’s Troubles
by Patrick Lynn City- Times Staff
Recent city meetings have seen their fair share of controversy surrounding the Player’s Lounge and the renewal of its conditional use permit- something the business would need to continue operating as is.
Some residents and aldermen say they think the business needs to have its permit yanked due to noise and increased crime in the residential neighborhood where the business operates.
“I’ve spent over $4,000 on improvements for my home,” said Leroy Cordy, whose home neighbors Player’s to the south.
“We did new windows, soundproofing, all to try and keep the noise out from all the loud bands,” he said.
Cordy claims to represent many residents in the neighborhood, though he is the only one to have come forward during recent public meetings.
Alderman Mike Phillips says the business shouldn’t be allowed to operate with its current conditional use permit because the nature of the business has changed.
“When they first opened, this was supposed to be an indoor sports venue,” he said.
“Now it’s more of a bar than anything else, and brings the same issues to what was a peaceful neighborhood.”
Player’s owner Jason Glisczynski said he and his staff have tried to work with neighboring residents, the city and the police department to work through the problems.
But law enforcement officials say if any compromise is to be struck, the business will have to be held to a higher standard than other local taverns simply because of one major factor: location.
“You put Graffitis at that local, and obviously there’d be a bigger concern than where they are now,” said SPPD Chief Kevin Ruder.
Ruder said the biggest concern in his mind was a high-stakes, illegal poker game that took place at Player’s, something he said spurred a whirlwind of dangerous, criminal activity throughout the neighborhood.
“When we end up chasing someone through a neighborhood for stealing from a car, and the reason for doing so is that they lost so much money in an illegal gambling event at Player’s, that’s a moment to stop and be concerned,” he added.
Officials all seem to agree the original intent of the business- that of an indoor sports venue- was a valiant idea and would still likely support such a business. But the addition of alcohol into the operation is what causes so many problems, Ruder said.
“Player’s was warned that residents didn’t want loud concerts and large events there,” he said.
“People want to feel safe in their homes.”