Talk about getting the ball rolling!
The People’s Playground will get two new soccer fields by the end of this year as part of a citywide initiative to build 50 of the fields throughout the Big Apple.
The pair of green spaces will give Coney Islanders who love soccer a place to come together and share their passion for the game, according to the executive director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which co-sponsors the NYC Soccer Initiative along with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club, Etihad Airways, and Adidas.
“It’s clear that there is no shortage of talent, passion, or interest surrounding the sport among Coney Island residents of all ages — in both of our planned locations we’ve seen people setting up makeshift goal posts, using the resources at hand to play the game they love,” said Toya Williford. “These pitches will add new high-quality play space and will also serve as positive gathering places for all community members to enjoy.”
Honchos plan to build the public fields at Neptune Playground, on W. 12th Street between Neptune and Surf avenues, and at Century Playground, on W. Brighton Ave. at W. Second Street, pending approval from the city Public Design Commission, according to Mayor’s Fund spokeswoman Ashleigh Fryer, who added that construction of the fields will likely take place over the summer.
Fryer said the fields will vary in size depending on the location, but will be an average of 4,500 square feet, or one-tenth the minimum size of a professional soccer field, according to the standards set by the sport’s governing body, the International Federation of Association Football.
Officials behind the $3 million, five-year initiative aim to build another 30 fields throughout the city in addition to the 20 they’ve already lain down since announcing the scheme in 2016, Fryer said. Four of those fields are in Kings County, but the green spaces slated for Sodom by the Sea will be the first to arrive in southern Brooklyn.
And the plan has locals’ support: 28 members of Community Board 13 voted unanimously in favor of the measure, in an advisory capacity, at its April 24 general meeting.