The renovated pitch will also be the site of ongoing youth football programming supported by the project sponsor, the UAE Embassy. On Friday, May 20, 2022, the New York City Parks Department celebrated the completion of the renovation of the Crotona Park football field in the Crotona Park East neighborhood of the Bronx. The project was originally announced by NYC Parks and Congressman Ritchie Torres on December 7, 2021.
In addition to rebuilding the football pitch, the project will include four years of free youth football programs, including coaching and education clinics, which will be overseen by City in the Community, a foundation supported by the New York City Football Club. The programming will be paid for by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
This is the third pitch the UAE Embassy has built in New York in partnership with City Football Group, the majority owner of New York City Football Club. The first was a rooftop football pitch at PS 72 Lexington Academy in East Harlem in 2012, followed by a pitch at PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in 2016.
The renovation cost $363,000. The pitch uses a synthetic polyethylene material laid over a stone surface, which NYC Parks says is environmentally safe, state-of-the-art, and meets the department’s specifications for grass pitches.
At the grand reopening of the grounds, Parks Department First Deputy Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa was joined by Congresswoman Torres, City Council members Oswald Feliz and Althea Stevens, Friends of Crotona representatives , students from the East Bronx Academy for the Future and the project sponsors, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the United States, represented by the Ambassador, His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, and City in the Community.
“After an incredibly difficult year for so many people here in the Bronx, and especially for the community of Melrose, we are thrilled that the children of this community have a beautiful new football field to enjoy,” said the first deputy. curator Iris Rodriguez-Rosa.
“The South Bronx has long lacked high-quality park spaces for recreation and community gatherings,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “This football field will provide much-needed green space and meaningful youth programming for the Crotona Park community.”
“All children deserve year-round access to safe, quality playgrounds,” Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said at the inauguration ceremony. “NYCFC’s long-term coaching program means the lives of many area children will be positively impacted for years to come.”
New York City Football Club CEO Brad Sims said, “Since the club’s inception, NYCFC has strived to create a meaningful and lasting impact on New York City communities and increase access to football. free in one of the most impressive fields for talent across the world.”
Parks: “NYC Parks, UAE Embassy, New York City Football Club and Congressman Torres Celebrate Crotona Park Soccer Field Renovation” (May 20, 2022).
By: Christophe Kipiniak (Christopher is an intern at CityLaw and a student at New York Law School, Class of 2024.)