Government Leaders and Key Sponsors Celebrate Rebuilding of Crotona Park Soccer Field in the Bronx

Crotona Park Turf Field Ribbon Cutting.
Image Credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks

The refurbished field will also be the site of ongoing youth soccer programming supported by the project’s sponsor, the UAE embassy. On Friday, May 20, 2022, the NYC Parks Department celebrated completion of the refurbishment of the Crotona Park soccer field in the Crotona Park East neighborhood of the Bronx. The project was originally announced by NYC Parks and Congress Member Ritchie Torres on December 7, 2021.

In addition to rebuilding the soccer field, the project will include four years of complimentary youth soccer programming, including coaching and education clinics, to 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 field the Embassy of the UAE has built in NYC in partnership with City Football Group, the majority owner of New York City Football Club. The first was a rooftop soccer field at PS 72 Lexington Academy in East Harlem in 2012, followed by a field at PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in 2016.

The refurbishment cost $363,000. The field uses polyethylene synthetic material laid over a stone surface, which NYC Parks says is environmentally safe, state of the art, and meets the department’s turf field specifications.

At the field’s Grand Re-opening, Parks Department First Deputy Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa was joined by Congress Member Torres, City Council Members Oswald Feliz and Althea Stevens, representatives of Friends of Crotona, students from the East Bronx Academy for the Future, and the sponsors of the project, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, represented by the Ambassador, His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, and City in the Community.

“After an incredibly tough year for so many here in the Bronx, and especially for the Melrose community, we are thrilled that the children of this community have a beautiful new soccer field to enjoy,” said First Deputy Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa.

“The South Bronx has long lacked high-quality park space for recreation and community gathering,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “This soccer field will provide much needed green space and meaningful youth programming for the Crotona Park community.”

“All kids deserve year-round access to quality and safe playing fields,” said Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “NYCFC’s long term coaching program means the lives of many kids in the area will be positively impacted for years to come.”

New York City Football Club CEO Brad Sims said, ““Since the Club’s founding, NYCFC has worked to create a significant and lasting impact on the communities across New York and increase access to free soccer in one of the most impressive areas for talent across the world.”

Parks: “NYC Parks, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, New York City Football Club, and Congressman Torres Celebrate Crotona Park Soccer Field Renovation” (May 20, 2022).

By: Christopher Kipiniak (Christopher is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)


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