As popularity of the Parks and Recreation Department’s youth and adult sports programming has steadily increased throughout the years and requests for space continues to rise, available field space has become exceptionally limited, challenging the Department to look for alternative solutions to meet the demand. As such, the Department was asked to consider the possibility of incorporating small-sided turf soccer fields in one or more of the West Lots for recreational purposes (Exhibit A).
Small-sided fields have a smaller pitch than traditional soccer fields, which can support teams that consist of three to seven players on either side, as compared to the usual 11 vs.11 on regular sized fields. Current in-house youth soccer league and soccer clinic programming could be played on these modified layouts.
Administration has evaluated the funding needed to construct four micro soccer turf fields in the west lots: two fields in West Lot 1 (between 87th street and 86th street), and two fields in West Lot 2 (between 86th street and 85th street). The probable cost of constructing four micro soccer fields with artificial turf is approximately $908k. Should the Committee prefer natural grass, the cost of constructing four micro soccer fields with natural turf is $686k; however, natural turf suffers significant wear and would require more resting and shutdown periods. Regardless, the final cost of the project may increase to over $1.3 million as site grading, sodding, pouring of concrete sidewalks, landscaping, and other soft costs are considered (Exhibit B). Administration recommends opting-in for sod and landscaping additional cost options. Per building requirements, restrooms may also be required, but are not priced.
At the time of this memo, there is separate discussion item on the Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee agenda regarding sports fields citywide, sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. This item encompasses a full review of current programming and programming needs, as well as an evaluation of all current and potential opportunities for recreational fields in the City, which includes the West Lots in its scope of analysis.