The story with use of Cadman Park

There was some chatter on Wednesday’s Open Thread about soccer players who take up the entire turf field at Cadman Plaza Park and don’t leave much room for kids, sunbathers, and others. We talked with Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson about the matter, who said:

This field is an open lawn area that is open to the entire public. We do not and will not issue athletic permits for leagues to have games here. [It’s] not that people can’t kick a soccer ball around, but it should not occupy the entire area because we want people to be able to lay on blankets, have picnics, etc. as well. If they are indeed taking up the whole area, then our Parks Enforcement Officers can tell them not to do so. I will advise them to keep an eye on this over here.

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  • Publius

    Who would have a picnic on fake grass? Isn’t the field for athletic games? There’s plenty of real grass around the perimeter of the park for picnicing, or sunbathing, if anyone wanted to do that.

  • alex

    Here we go again…

  • AEB

    Publus, please see Wednesday’s open-post posts.

    Homer/BHB gals ‘n’ guys, ya done good—thanks!

    Let’s hope that Mr. Abramson is as good as his word–and that the enforcement officers enforce.


  • Diane

    I was at the park that day with my children. The girls soccer team from the International School on Tillary was playing a match using the entire field. They were set up lengh wise, runnig around groups of young children like they were inconvenient obstacles with too many near misses to count. My problem was the way the Coaches handled the issue when we approached them. They were rude and one used profanity. His line was “I am trying to do right by my girls.” I understand that most NYC Public schools don’t have sports fields. The right thing to do for your girls is contact the parks department and to schedule and get a permit for a real sports field where you are not endangering others.

  • nabeguy

    Well done Sarah. While we’re all using our fingers to voice diatribes, you used yours to dial the city.

  • Q Reus

    Speaking of Cadman Plaza Park. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone (or the city) organzied somelive music performances using the patio space in front of the war memorial (with the audience on the fake grass lawn). Seems like the perfect setting.
    Or…how about an outdoor temporary cafe (like they have along the Hudson bikepath or Riverside park in Manhattan.

  • neighborhoodjogger

    with regard to the comments of ballistic soccer balls endangering lives… i jog the cadman plaza track at least 3 nights each week and at least once on weekends. i have never had to duck a soccer ball. i have been probably more at risk by cute small dogs or pedestrians walking on the track two-by-two than by the soccer players. and it typically seems to me there is plenty of natural grassland for picnics and whiffle-ball. for what it’s worth.

  • martin schneider

    I have been wondering how long it would take before some one would speak up for fair use of the space. I have seen uniformed teams taking over the entire turf from north to south. This is plainly unreasonable in a place where the high number of users dictates no hogging of the park’s limited facility. I trust there will be quick action by the park’s authorities to get the word out. This is the height of the season.

  • Bart

    The Parks Department statement sound fair. The general idea is not to hog the whole lawn or even a significant part because it prevents others from using it on a more casual basis.

    Although once the hot weather finally gets here and we are all away for the summer and the and the sweltering heat turns the turf lawn into a hot, smelly, burning tire, the issue of appropriate use becomes moot.

  • William Spier

    In my opinion, the field was put in for recreation like soccer, not sunbathing. The problem is that everyone’s health is at risk because inconsiderate and truly stupid residents let their dogs run all over the field. If I were a sunbather, or a mom/dad with tots, I would stay the heck away from that field. Anyone who brings a dog onto an artificial turf field should receive a summons. I often stand in awe of the arrogance of some local residents.

  • Mike

    I still find it bizarre that people would want to picnic in that space. It does not look very inviting to me. It’ plastic, probably toxic. What’s going on here? If it was grass, you’d have a point, and I could see banning the soccer altogether ( maintenance issue). It would be abusive to let a dog run on that stuff unless it had sneakers on.

  • AEB

    I think the point, Mike, is that people want to have access to that space to use in whatever fashion for at least some of the time.

    And to feel that they, and their kids, if any, are safe from injury in the area when the soccer people play.

    Check out Wednesday’s open-topic thread for the whole back-and-forth.

  • Monty

    I agree that it isn’t an ideal picnic spot, but no one should ever take up the entire pitch for one event. I think you could have a 5X5 soccer match using a third or even half of the field and that would be ok. If you want to play 11X11, go to Prospect Park.

  • CRB

    It’s actually a really nice space for toddlers to run around and play, unlike the space on the periphery, which is very rooty and not in the sun. My 2.5 year old son was recently nailed in the stomach by a strongly struck soccer ball by the men playing in this area. (And, my son was a good 20 yards away from the end line of the game near the edge of the space; it’s not as if we were crowding their playing area.) Thankfully he was only startled and not seriously hurt, but he would have been if the ball had hit his head. I understand that these men want to set up a game and use the space, but their game shouldn’t occupy the full space.

  • Jazz

    Grown men who are not playing sports professionally are man-children. Pity them.

  • AEB

    Jazz! This is America! We don’t suggest, even hint at the possibility that sport should take a backseat to anything!

    I mean, get with the program!

  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    Monty, you are absolutely correct … and this comes from a guy who has played soccer in Cadman Plaza many times since the plastic pitch was put in.

    Jazz, you’re an idiot … and probably quite fat.

  • LolaBell

    Jazz and AEB, while I know your comments are sarcastic, it clues me in a bit as to why some people are so up-in-arms over the soccer players. And the efforts of these people to regulate a public use space in such a rigid fashion simply because its current use doesn’t suit them to a T bothers me in some fundamental way that I just can’t put my finger on. It seems as though people are always unhappy and complaining about SOMETHING on this blog and in this neighborhood.

    I don’t play soccer, but I DO visit and enjoy the entirety of the park – which is extremely large, btw, and seems as though there should be quite enough room for everyone to co-exist without complaint. I enjoy knowing that people – adults and kids – are having a good time playing a sport, and are being active human beings. In BH, we’re lucky to live close to MANY beautiful outdoor spaces: playgrounds for children to play in, a dog park for dogs to run in, and a park for people to even – gasp – enjoy sports in.

    It really frustrates me to read the comments on this blog sometimes. I don’t know about you guys, but it’s a beautiful day, and as soon as I’m done with work I’m going to enjoy some quality time outdoors. Hopefully someone will be playing soccer. =)

  • Jazz

    LolaBell I suggest that you invest in a “rabbit”. That should alleviate any tension you may feel when reading this blog.

  • hickster

    Jazz, I agree. Anyone who is that eager to run to the park for a soccer match is not getting much attention.

  • Anonymous

    Take ur kids to the playgrounds in the neighborhood. One can’t play soccer or take ones dog in there. Problem solved. If u r using the public space argument I apparently cannot go onto a playground withhout having a child with me. I also believe the turf is a sportsfield and not a picknick area. Lila is probably Getting more action than u bitter old men.

  • Tami

    What’s really, really gross is seeing packs of dogs peeing all over the astroturf. It’s a whole group of them & their owners, running and peeing in the early AM as if there wasn’t a dog run a few minutes away. I thought dogs weren’t allowed on there. Any idea how to get the owners to stop?

  • Pepper

    Hey Tami! I’ve got a great idea of keeping those terrible owners and their dogs off the turf. I mean they just frickin pee and poop everywhere – – and the owners do it too. So here we go, listen up Tami! First go out for a jog. Wear all black and a black hat. Then as you run through the crowd of owners (watch out they might pee on you) yell “SELFISH DOG PIGS!” It works so well. Seriously, it is awesome. Then the next day do push-ups on the turf right near where the dogs are playing (well, actually the dogs aren’t really on the turf…they are on the grass) But be very very angry while you do your push-ups and then keep taunting the group with the clever “dog pig” comment. Man, I am so frickin’ brilliant…

  • nabeguy

    Pepper, you’re definitely something, but brilliant isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. What exactly is your point? That anyone who objects to dogs peeing on a public space that was designed and dedicated for athletic play is a nut-job?

  • Pepper

    Hey Willie Spier – you said ” The problem is that everyone’s health is at risk because inconsiderate and truly stupid residents let their dogs run all over the field.” I for one do not let my dog run all over the turf. But when I am there with my dog he does pee and poop (which I always clean up) on the grass. So I would say the turf is a much cleaner place to have your picnic — oh but then again there is a lot of garbage all over the field from the humans.

    Nabeguy – I wrote my above comment because that is how one woman decided to talk to the dog owners at the park —

  • Mike

    It is not a lawn. It’s a piece of plastic.

    You gotta be kidding.