Red Hookers upset at ‘takeover’ of popular field

The Brooklyn Paper
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Red Hook Park is the site of a genuine turf war.

Coaches are battling a Manhattan-based private school over its plan to create a state-of-the art, synthetic field — and then control its use on weekdays.

Xavier HS, located on W. 16th Street in that other borough, plans to spend $2.5 million to turn a worn-out public field at Columbia and Bay streets into a mini-Meadowlands complete with new lights and bleachers.

After making the upgrades, the school would be guaranteed after-school practice times, prompting a schedule scramble among Red Hook youth and adult leagues.

“My kids live here; they should be the first priority,” said Daniel Clay, coach of Red Hook Raiders football.

Clay said that the tentative field schedule gives Xavier — and its Brooklyn Titans football club — control of the field from 3 to 8 pm on weekdays. By then, he said, his grade-school–aged players have to get to bed.

Red Hook teams will be permitted to practice during all other hours — weekends, before school and under lights at night — according to the tentative schedule.

Xavier volunteered to improve the field — which coaches called “a dust bowl”— at a time when the Parks Department didn’t have the resources to maintain the widely used greenspace.

But others pointed out that a city’s inability to maintain its own public facilities is typically a back door towards privatization.

In addition, public field permits have long been a heated issue in the borough, with teams accusing the city of favoring wealthy, politically connected organizations over scrappy, low-budget rec leages.

In some cases, hot-commodity Brooklyn fields work more like a gold rush: Whoever shows up first, cashes in. But even that can prompt outdoor quarrels, like in the case of the pick-up soccer players who duked it out with parents over a popular area in Fort Greene Park.

“There’s potential for a land-grab and even violence,” said Titans coach Bill Solomon.

That’s part of why a Community Board 6 committee will figure out a permitting system for what will essentially become a public-private park.

“To teams, permits are the holy grail,” said board member Nica Lalli, adding the city should dole them out in a more transparent way. “Emotions run high; You could make a reality TV show about it.”

Xavier president Jack Raslowsky did not return several calls seeking comment, but told The Brooklyn Paper in March, “We’re not looking to take over the field. … We’re looking to give back to the community.”

Xavier will also replace the field’s surrounding track, paving the way for competitive runners. The renovations will take four to six months to complete, according to the project’s architect, Tom McGinty.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jon from south brooklyn says:
this story is totally bs. the titans don't even play on that field. they play on the bay st/clinton st field. plus, titans are made of kids mostly outside, not kids from red hook.
May 20, 2011, 7:58 am
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
This is so confusing. I now regretting cutting my Geography Class. A Manhattan School taking over a Brooklyn playground? Say what you will there are some neighborhoods & Community Boards in Brooklyn who would not stand for this. What's there position? I just don't get how this is okay. No money or not. I thought we want kids to be active.

On a serious note people. After the biggest thief against working people in America, they are not feeling the pinch. NOt like we don't know who the thieves are. This sh**t is making me old faster, which is good because apparently medicare won't be around when I'm 62.
No more anti-aging drugs for me. need to become old fast.
May 20, 2011, 10:19 am
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
PS. Our Billionaire Mayor ned to cut back on his Consulting Addiction.
Just think, he saving $55 million to close 20 firehouses. The fraud that is City Time stole $80mill that we know about.

Just think out of that 80mill - 55 to save firehouse with pocket change for playgrounds.

And why the heck isn't this school heading to Randalls Island like all the other Manhattan elitist schools?
May 20, 2011, 10:25 am
Joe from Kensington says:
Sounds good to me, Xavier is putting up the money to fix a neglected field for themselves and also the Titans, a Brooklyn organization. And Xavier isn't some "fancy" private school like the article makes it out to be, its a Catholic school with a lot of students from Brooklyn.
May 20, 2011, 3:48 pm
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
if only you had something for me to rob Randy Dandy. I'd gladly meet you in Prospect Park. I usually find loud mouths like you don't have 2nickles in their pockets.

Don't worry thou I won't kick you as you shine my shoes. You do take EBT Card don't. P888y!

By the way I'm not black. You and I were pulled from the same hole remember?
May 21, 2011, 12:45 pm
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
PS when I look in the mirror I love who I see. I am a Blackwhitelatinasianeskimoindianjewgentilechristainmuslim
In others world I am what you could never be, humane.
May 21, 2011, 12:57 pm
Clinton hill chill from Clinton hill says:
I say let the Jewish kids come play the red hook kids for territory them incest looking bread burning mofos would probably win!
May 23, 2011, 8:14 am
Garcnyc says:
Xavier has been using fields in red hook for for decades. If they are willing to put up money to improve the facility good for them. Xavier isn't some elitist Manhattan School, it's a Jesuit Boys H.S. Students are from hard working middle class families from all 5 boros. Maybe your sons should take the entry exam.
May 23, 2011, 8:25 am

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