New York City’s five boroughs are in line to take a share of 50 new soccer fields over the next five years courtesy of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Adidas, city government, and New York City F.C. The project, with an expected cost of $3 million, aligns with the aims of the U.S. Soccer Foundation to boost participation in healthy activities among youths.
According to the New York Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to name Millbrook Playground in the South Bronx as the location for the first of eight fields. Here, a rundown play area will make way for an artificial pitch comprised of synthetic fibers which will be able to be used all year round. Other fields will also be placed in and around various depressed neighborhoods as the projects hopes to reach out to up to 10,000 children.
The fields are due to come to $750,000—a figure that will be offered by the four partners—meanwhile the rest of the total amount will go to maintaining the fields and extracurricular activities that will take place there.
“The city and public have skin in the game, and the private companies have skin in the game, so it’s a way to build bridges throughout our city that is very significant,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, the director of the New York CityOffice of Strategic Partnerships, told the Times. “When you couple those private resources with the scale and breadth of our city agencies, innovative solutions can happen in a way that public systems can’t do by themselves.”
With underserved communal spaces, having been identified for soccer field placement, first in line are Cypress Hills Houses in Brooklyn, the Eagle Academy on Staten Island, Public School 83 in Manhattan, and Millbrook Playground.
New York City F.C., Major League Soccer’s most recent franchise, is still on the hunt for a soccer field of their own. Currently ground sharing with the New York Yankees, president of the club, Jon Patricof, said the team were still looking in all five boroughs for a new place to call home.
“For us, this is not about what happens on our match days,” Patricof said. “For us, this is about our commitment to the sport and all the positive things soccer can do for kids and their families.”