May 16, 2023 - News

Canceled Trump rally leaves deep ruts in Des Moines park

Ruts left Saturday at Water Works Park in DSM. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Organizers of Saturday's canceled rally for former President Donald Trump left deep vehicle ruts surrounding Lauridsen Amphitheater.

Why it matters: The ruts amount to over $1,000 in damages and some areas will have to be resodded, Sam Carrell, director of Des Moines' Water Works Park Foundation, tells Axios.

  • The Trump campaign acknowledged the damage and agreed to pay for the fixes, as stipulated in its rental contract, Carrell says.

Catch up fast: Saturday's rally was largely set up but ultimately canceled for public safety due to tornado warnings.

  • The event will be rescheduled soon, Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social after the cancellation.

Yes, but: Before leaving the park, a semi-truck went off a rock path and into soggy grass areas that were off limits to vehicles.

  • Then, food truck drivers and other vendors drove on the same spots.
  • Total damages are still being estimated but it is more than $1,000, Carrell says.

What they're saying: The Trump campaign is working with park officials, Carrell says.

  • Both parties are discussing rescheduling the event to another area of the 1,500-acre park, partly to help avoid repeat problems.

Of note: Trump's Iowa campaign did not respond to our request for comment.

A photo of turf damage at Water Works Park.
Turf damage near the Lauridsen Amphitheater as it looked Monday. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

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