In Reversal, DOE Reinstates Permits for ZogSports in Lower East Side Schoolyards

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 at 10:07 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

ZogSports always play on this Rivington court, Photo: The Villager

At the end of August, ZogSports was dealt a blow when the Department of Education revoked their permits for kickball games at two Lower East Side schools (PS 142 on Attorney Street and Marta Valle/LES Preparatory on Stanton Street). The position was taken based on allegations that the co-ed social sports league is a for-profit business and, therefore, doesn’t qualify for such permits. Furthermore, residents in the vicinity have been complaining for years – with the help of the LES Dwellers – about noise problems and inability to use the courts.

But the decision against the adult kickball leagues was seemingly short-lived.

The Villager reports this week that the city agency decided to reverse its decision. A complete about-face:

The residents have complained that Zogsports promotes alcohol on schoolyards by partnering with sponsors such as Bud Light and Wild Turkey American Honey. The residents also say that children are turned away at the gates of their own schoolyards to make room for the adult kickball games.

“I guess they can technically cover themselves as a not-for-profit because of their sister entity,” said Diem Boyd, founder of L.E.S. Dwellers, an activist local neighborhood group. “But our argument still says that it’s promoting happy hour at local bars and alcohol brands, and we don’t see how that’s appropriate on D.O.E. property.”

ZogSports is a for-profit entity that gives a portion of its net profit to a sister nonprofit called Play For Your Cause. In addition, the ZogSports Athletic Association of New York City is a nonprofit that runs “100 percent of the [ZogSports] activities in NYC Department of Education facilities” and in turn donates 100 percent of net proceeds to charity, according to the ZogSports Web site.

ZogSports allegedly doesn’t pay the schools to play on their grounds.

Recent Stories

A Hate Crime in Chinatown Sows Division in Response [OP-ED]

The random attack on a 55-year-old woman in the heart of Chinatown shattered the relative sense of security in the neighborhood. Following this sucker-punch incident in front of 65 Bayard Street, activists demanded reaction from lame-duck de Blasio or any of the mayor hopefuls. It was the opposite – a real shitshow typical of Chinatown […]

Post-Pandemic Hell Square Rings True at Hair of the Dog

Hell Square is back to its normal self, reviving the weekend chaos after a marginal break during pandemic times. Residents note that this past Saturday night was particularly hellish, and headquartered outside Hair of the Dog on Orchard Street. There, in the middle of the street, someone installed a powerful three-foot-high portable speaker and proceeded […]

City Claims to Preserve East River Park Amphitheater and Allow LES Ecology Center Composting to Remain

With the massive East Side Coastal Resiliency Project underway, the city last week announced additional funding to preserve the East River Park amphitheater, and allow the Lower East Side Ecology Center to keep its compost footprint inside the park. City officials announced the cash infusion to save the eroded bandshell – erected in 1941 – […]

Wesley Williams, the First Black Firefighter in NYC, Chatting with Great Grandson [INTERVIEW]

Now more than ever, the story of Wesley Williams must be told. As the first African American firefighter to join the Fire Department, Williams defied the odds again and became Chief in 1919. His detail was Engine 55, which is still active at 363 Broome Street in Little Italy (where Steve Buscemi volunteered). He later […]

Pandemic Shift: Tom and Jerry’s

On March 16, 2020, New York City bars were ordered shut by the governor. While some waited for reopening, many wondered if that would happen. In “Pandemic Shift,” co-creators Andrew Hunter and Aaron Fischer captured the moments and moods of service workers in front of their closed establishments. Here is Kris, bartender at Tom & […]