Nike Soccer Field on Stanton Street is in Terrible Shape; Parks Department Considers Repair a Priority

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 at 9:22 am by

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Repairing the dilapidated (nay, dangerous) Nike soccer field in Sara D. Roosevelt Park is a high priority, according to the Parks Department.

Nearly nine years after its media-friendly debut, the Nike-built pitch is in tatters. Literally. The turf carpeting is a dangerous minefield of burrs, divots, and even exposed metal base. One athlete who plays on the field weekly says that people are constantly hurting themselves due to the subpar conditions.

Sources tell us that it’s at the point where organizers of the annual Showdown in Chinatown are wary of playing here for fear of injury. That was apparently the case the last couple years, too, but the game went on. Perhaps the field status is part of the reason why the “Chinatown” was ultimately dropped from the event name.

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When we spoke to organizer (and superstar athlete) Steve Nash over the summer, he told us, “I think we need new turf. We’ve tried in the past, we’d like to work towards getting new turf for that park. It’s not that simple, unfortunately. There are endless people playing on it, and that’s why the turf’s in rough shape.”

But this month, a glimmer of hope.

Field repair has been on and off the Community Board 3 agenda numerous times the last year, and it’s returned again tomorrow night. The docket alludes to a “capital works project.” We asked Chief of Staff for NYC Parks, Steve Simon, about the plans. “We are talking to two possible donors but have nothing firm to report yet,” he noted. “[Field repair] is a high priority, and we would like to replace the field as quickly as possible.”

Nike funded the cash for the field in 2006 in anticipation of that summer’s World Cup. Numerous soccer events involving Premier League team announcements transpired here. The Showdown in Chinatown first starting playing here in 2008.

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