Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz calls for additional fields for youth soccer players in Van Cortlandt Park
$15 million dollars later, soccer players are finding themselves with less field space following the renovation of the Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground according to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz
Prior to the renovation, the Parade Ground had eight soccer fields in the fall and six in the spring. Now there are only six soccer fields year-round, and two must be closed each season to help preserve their condition, leaving only four usable soccer fields.
After the Riverdale Soccer Club, a youth soccer organization struggling to find enough field space for its games, brought the issue to his attention, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz decided to take action. Assemblyman Dinowitz wrote to Bronx Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte requesting that the Department of Parks and Recreation provide at least the number of soccer fields that were available in the spring prior to the renovation of the Parade Ground. As a possible solution, he suggested examining a proposal of the Riverdale Soccer Club which involves designating three additional soccer fields in the southeastern section of the Parade Ground when it opens.
“When taxpayers’ money goes to an improvement of a public facility, they expect a public benefit, not a detriment. That’s why I was shocked to learn that youth soccer players found themselves worse off after the renovation of the Parade Ground,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “I urge the Parks Department to make changes in the use of the fields in Van Cortlandt Park. The first priority must be to provide space for young people. Soccer continues to grow in popularity among kids, yet Parks has reduced the number of soccer fields. This is unacceptable and must be changed. Van Cortlandt Park is for all New Yorkers, but first and foremost it should be for the children of our community.”