QUEENS – New York City FC, alongside the First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray, partners and community members, unveiled the newest group of mini-soccer pitches across the city at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The pitches are part of the New York City Soccer Initiative.
Launched in 2016, NYCSI is a first-of-its-kind $3 million public-private partnership between the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, NYCFC, U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas and Etihad Airways, to build and maintain 50 mini-pitches across the city over five years and expand free soccer programming to 10,000 young New Yorkers. By the end of this year, 30 pitches will be open for play, providing community gathering spaces in all five boroughs.
The centerpiece of the event was a photo exhibit featuring submissions from young New Yorkers documenting the soccer culture in their communities through photography. NYCFC captain Alex Ring announced the winner of the photo contest. That was Kweku Brew, whose photos featured a mini-pitch in the Bronx where “everyone practices, comes to play, and learns about each other and the about the game.”
Youth players also had the opportunity to break in the new Flushing Meadows Corona Park pitch with drills and games led by NYCFC players and community coaches, and a surprise guest appearance from Queens’ own DJ Whoo Kid closed out the afternoon.
“When we invest in recreational spaces for our children, it is more than designating a play space; we energize entire communities and bring neighbors together for positive and healthy social experiences,” McCray said. “Thank you to the New York City Football Club, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Adidas and Etihad Airways for your commitment to our city’s children. Together, we are building stronger communities, and helping young people develop habits that will promote wellness throughout their lives.”
New York City Soccer Initiative Year Three:
Ten new pitches will be open by the end of 2019
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fountain of the Planets
- Moore Playground (East Harlem, Manhattan)—East 130th, Madison Ave., New York, NY, 10037
- Equity Playground (Woodhaven Queens)—91-02 88th Ave., Woodhaven, NY 11421
- PS 150 (Brownsville, Brooklyn)—364 Sackman St. Brooklyn, NY 11212
- PS 142 (Lower East Side, Manhattan)—100 Attorney St., New York, NY 10002
- J Hood Wright Park (Washington Heights, Manhattan)—W. 173 St. and Haven Ave., New York, NY, 10033
- Neptune Playground (Coney Island, Brooklyn)—2840 W. 12TH St., Brooklyn, NY 11224
- Century Playground/PS 100 (Coney Island, Brooklyn)—2951 W. 3rd St., Brooklyn, NY 11224
- People’s Park (Mott Haven, Bronx)—535 E. 141st St., Bronx, NY 10454
- PS 42 (Arden Heights, Staten Island) – 380 Genesee Ave, Staten Island, NY 10312