A sinkhole formed on June 26, 2024, at the Gordon Moore Park soccer field in Alton, Illinois. Credit: 618 Drone Service/Facebook

Watch: Sinkhole Swallows Massive Chunk of Soccer Field in Illinois Park

City officials say the sinkhole measures in about 100 feet wide.

Video emerged this week of a massive sinkhole forming in a soccer field at a park in a southern Illinois town. The sinkhole swallowed a big chunk of the field along with a light post and some stadium seats. The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at the Gordon Moore Park soccer field in Alton, located about 25 miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri. According to reports, the sinkhole measuring about 100 feet wide formed after a mine collapsed beneath it.


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What caused the soccer field sinkhole in Alton

Shortly after the field collapsed, Alton's mayor, David Goins, met with the city council to update the public about the issue. He told residents that he had been in contact with New Frontier Mines, which owns the mine beneath the park. He warned that the city closed the entire park because the ground had not yet completely settled. "There's still some movement, so we thought it'd be in the best interest ... to close off all activities," he said, as reported by The River Bender.

Matt Barkett, a representative for the Missouri-based mining company, told local media that the mine experienced "surface subsidence and opened a sinkhole." According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the term "surface subsidence" or "land subsidence" means "a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth's surface." It often occurs after the removal of materials — such as water, oil, gas, or minerals — from the ground. In this case, New Frontier Materials mines materials for asphalt.

Repairing the field

As far as damage is concerned, it's unclear how much repairs will cost and how long it will take to make them. Barkett said: "The impacted area has been secured and will remain off-limits for the foreseeable future while inspectors and experts examine the mine and conduct repairs."

Goins said he plans to meet with the head of the mining company on June 27 to discuss how to move forward. He added that the city will hire an "independent geologist" to survey the site so they get a better understanding of the damages and timeline for repairs.