Cadman Plaza Park Soccer – Pretty Mellow

Photo by Mrs. Fink

Photo by Mrs. Fink

Saturday morning, we checked out the controversial soccer players at Cadman Plaza Park. Overall the group of players, mostly men and over 30, seemed downright mellow. While they did take up most of the turf field, there didn’t seem to be much competition for using it. One family played frisbee on the turf while the game was being played. And the only casualty there seemed to be the little boy’s interest in frisbee — seems like he caught “futbol fever” after seeing a goal scored.

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  • cv

    I noted too that things were mellow. This isn’t how it’s been, typically. Perhaps they’ve been reading this blog, or were spoken to. It was so much nicer — and safer for all — being able to share space … this is much more the way it used to be. May it continue.

  • guest

    what time did you go? many families have stopped going in the morning because of them, so it’s not really a fair estimate of how many people want the space. also, they are perfectly lovely and nice as long as your child doesn’t get near their game, and they are never careful about where the ball goes (I get that doing so is difficult) so essentially there is no place on the *grass* that is safe.

  • The Where

    Making your child play on fake plastic grass within a stone’s throw of Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park is 1000% child abuse. Let the soccer players get lung cancer, I prefer the real thing.

  • cv

    Guest, very true. The other thing I miss is being able to take my child out for an early evening picnic there; that is never safe.

  • No One Of Consequence

    a@The Where… you obviously don’t have kids of your own…
    by any measure… “a stone’s throw” to Prospect Park or Central Park? Sign with the Yankees if you can make that.

  • The Where

    I believe there is something called the 2 train. It may stop here as well as there.

    Also the Harry “Today I died in my Rabbit” Chapin playground is quite nice.

  • soulman

    I live right next to this park and walk my dog there every day. There are, unfortunately, too many “entitled” folks who believe in their sacred right to do whatever they want. Yes, sometimes there are soccer players there – approximately 20 or more Brooklynites who are using the field for what it’s intended. At those times there are plenty of other, safer, shadier and quieter parts of the park to play, sit, read and relate to each other. It’s called community, folks.

    The park was unusually quiet this weekend, actually.

    While I’m on the subject, many of my fellow dog walkers abuse the park by having their dogs run loose on the plastic grass – which is, for obvious reasons, never allowed at any time. Where does the waste go? The rules mentioning this have all seem to have vanished since the last time I looked. Strange, huh?

  • nabeguy

    Excuse me for asking Soulman, but who do you know in the Parks Department that will verify and support your claim that the field was specifically designed for soccer? You talk about community but then go on to defend the rights of only a select few in it. I too noticed a dearth of full scale games over this weekend, either due to the fact that it was a holiday weekend or perhaps parks department intervention or maybe simply comments on this blog. In the end, it would be best that this not descend into a sand-box pissing contest, as this is a public space,after all. Ideally, the PD would take full ownership of the situation and lay out guidelines that everyone could follow, including dog-owners who abuse the field in the early hours of the day, when they have a perfectly good area to the north, as well as the dog-run on Squibb Hill.
    The Where, I happened to have grown up with Harry Chapin, who was my childhood babysitter Your comment only makes me wish that you had been in the backseat of that Rabbit.

  • ABC

    not sure a memorial day weekend visit would give you an accurate picture of the cadman scene

  • Me

    There was a full scale game going on this (Monday) morning but it was over by @11am. As for saying families shouldnt use the “grass” because Harry Chapin park is several blocks away, all I can say is ..what are you talking about? completely different entities. And getting on the 2 train for 30+minutes each way to spend 20 minutes kicking a ball around with a toddler, that is just beyond ridiculous

  • soulman

    Dear nabe entity – the plastic grass is for playing on – soccer, frisbee, football, cricket, even – that’s what I meant. The $1million + spent on it wasn’t just to prepare it for sitting. Plus, as many have mentioned – it’s not exactly the best environment for little ‘uns to crawl around on.

    I agree about the PD – but the written reg signs have disappeared and were never enforced. I agree about the dog run, where I spend at least an hour a day with my high-energy dog. The ranks of the “entitled” include many parents, players and dog owners. Ideally there should be a fenced-off, clearly designated sport area just like the dog area at the north end of the park – ignored by too many. I never let my dog off the leash there – that’s what Hillside Park is for 24/7. Cadman’s rules call for 9pm-9am only at the grass end.

  • No One Of Consequence

    The grass area to the north being a part-time dog run is enough reason for me to not want to let my kids run loose in it. At least the turf is “supposed” to be dog-free.
    And, yes, it is a reasonable surface for kids to play on. Beats the dust-bowl that used to be there or having them wipe-out on asphalt.
    I’d respectfully disagree about a designated sport area, at least not in this park, as it would ruin the aesthetic. There some sports fields just south of Atlantic on Columbia.

  • ABC

    the problem is when the 30-year-old soccer players come out, they take over the whole park and push aside the 4-year-old soccer players.

    can’t imagine caring what anyone thinks who posts that taking your kids to cadman is 1000% child abuse.


    Rules were meant to be broken!

  • In the Heights

    The bottom line is that no one is entitled to the whole park at any time unless a permit is involved. As that is not possible, there should be no league games played on this field, ever.

    For those dog owners who ever have your dogs off-leash and claim its ok because your dog is friendly, have some consideration for the kids around who are at eye level with the dogs. I am a dog lover, but if a dog is off-leash and a kid is at eye level with the dog, that can be really scary and a dangerous. You have a great park in the neighborhood. It is safer for the dogs too.

  • Bart

    It is probably very likely that the issue of the group of people playing soccer on the Cadman Plaza turf will become moot in the summer because of three factors:

    1. In summer the turf gets VERY hot and smells like a burning tire.
    2. Most of the lower upper class Heights residents go away for the summer.
    3. Many of the upper middle class Heights residents go away for some weekends.

    The soccer playing really became an issue during the spring as people were going outside more. But now that we’re all gone for the summer, the reduction of turf use should keep all people well away from danger or inconvenience.

  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    There are a lot of very unintentionally funny comments on this blog.

    NOOC, to your point about sports fields being on Columbia south of Atlantic. There is only one field there and that is for little league baseball. Sometimes it is open for anyone to use, but that spot grants permits for those games, which means others frequently can’t use it. It’s open during winter, though!

    The great thing about Cadman is that it should be open to everyone, without permits. I would agree that one group of people, no matter what they’re doing should not take up the whole, or even majority of, the space. The problem is that it is first come, first serve. I bet if you asked the guys playing to shorten their field so you could use parts of the field, they wouldn’t have a problem doing that. Has anyone asked or just complained on this blog?

    Also, for those of you who seem to be under the assumption that there is league play going on there, you’re wrong. It’s pick-up soccer. Anyone can ask to play.

  • In the Heights

    Actually, that is not true. I have a cousin, who plays in a league, that uses the field on a regular basis. This league rotates fields and uses Cadman in their rotation.

  • ABC

    Ditto on the league soccer. Some is pick-up, some is league play.

    And “first come first serve”? Talk about funny. It is not fcfs. You can be sitting there, and someone will come and put up plastic cones and inform you that you are about to be in the middle of their game. I have asked several times if they could shorten their field and they shrug. They allow the rest of us to play in a 10 foot wide strip at the end — like playing in an end zone.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if there was a schedule. That way maybe the rest of us could use it for a game of catch after work or on a weekend morning. I know people work around the Saint Anns and PS8 kids bcs they are on a schedule (and 40-60 kids playing on half the field seems like a good use of space — today at noon, 50 Saint Anns kids had one half of the field and a group of 12 adult soccer players took over the other half for their game.)

    Maybe I need some plastic cones of my own.

  • Homer Fink

    Attention regular Cadman Plaza Park soccer players – we want to hear your side. Comment here. We’re working on a follow up story as well… please email us your info if you’d like to speak on the record about this situation: webmaster AT


  • nobody

    Take your kids for a picknick at Brooklyn Bridge Park or to the state park next to the tobacco warehouse.. U got the view, a play ground, grass, dogs are not allowed off-leash or on the grass. Playgrounds are public as well yet I am not supposed to be on them if I am not a parent or guardian.

    I am tolerating all your kids in the neighborhood, so tolerate the soccer players playing in an area which was supposed to be a sportsfield and not a picknick area.

  • ABC

    I’d be 100% pro-soccer if it was supposed to be a “sportsfield”, but per

    “Although the park is now surrounded by federal and state courts, the main branch of the Brooklyn Post Office (1891), the offices of the International Red Cross, and the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the park remains a large recreational space for neighborhood residents, workers, and children. Containing drinking fountains, flags, benches, and a comfort station, Cadman Plaza Park’s main function is as a playground for the entire Brooklyn Heights community.”

    I’d be pro-soccer guys if they didn’t push people off when they arrived to play, each and every afternoon. I myself played league soccer for many years at Chelsea Piers and later at the outdoor fields right near Chelsea Piers at about 24th. I think Cadman should install lights and let the soccer begin — at 7.

  • bklyn20

    I don’t think the PS8 kids use Cadman on a regular basis — I will check around and find out. I know St Ann’s takes over Cadman most afternoons. The St Anns lower school kids also invade Pierrepont playground regularly- although they have a roof playground at the new (ish) building — ??

    The Parks Dept refuses to issue permits for the Cadman astroturf area. A group should be formed to loosely regulate use — a group comprised of the schools, soccer folks, pre-schools, and individuals. If Parks won’t do it, others will have to (not that I’m volunteering.)

  • nabeguy

    Duly noted Soulman…sorry for the misread. Jane, my comment was over the top, but as a childhood friend of Harry Chapin, I felt it necessary to respond to the cruelty of The Where’s statement about the circumstances surrounding his death. And I seriously doubt that TW is or ever has been a babysitter…he seems to be too busy changing his own diapers to take care of anyone else

  • Love the Turf

    PS8 does not use Cadman on a regular or official basis. There might be a very rare trip, but it is rare. I have 2 kids at the school and neither one has ever been there with school. When we have picnics, the school obtains a permit and goes to Empire Fulton Ferry Park.

    St. Ann’s uses Cadman on a daily basis. The middle school has gym class there. The lower grades go to Pierrepont playground on a daily basis for recess.

  • Andrew Porter

    Summer Hours at Brooklyn Botanic Garden—during which it’s open an extra 2 hours on Wednesday nights for members—starts on May 27th. While active games are discouraged at the BBG, people are encouraged to sit or lay on the grass in the Cherry Esplanade area. And the BBG is a mere 7 stops from Clark Street, with the entrance about 100 feet from the subway exit in front of the Bklyn Museum. It’s also safe, patrolled during all hours of operation.

    Given a choice between trying to have a quiet enjoyable time while sitting on recycled rubber, or on natural grass surrounded by flowers and plants, I know which choice I’d make.

  • PB

    I noted too that things were mellow. This isn’t how it’s been, typically. Perhaps they’ve been reading this blog, or were spoken to. It was so much nicer — and safer for all — being able to share space … this is much more the way it used to be. May it continue.

  • ABC

    Seems I was wrong about the PS8 crowd. There seems to be a class-sized group there with what I thought were teachers after school, but I’m not really there at that time of day. May have been a camp with kids from PS8.

    I too wish the Parks dept would step in and figure out a way for everyone to use the turf. I’m for soccer — just don’t think they should be able to kick dozens of people off a field for their game whenever they want.

    I’m all for all the city’s parks too and we use them often. But kids need to run around a couple of times every damn day (parenthood!) and it’s just not feasible to run over to the Botanic Gardens for some catch in the morning or a game of tag after work.

  • Love the Turf

    When I posted about PS8, that was not inclusive of the after school program. We don’t use the after school so I do not know if they use the park. I was referring to classes during the regular school day only.

    Andrew Porter – while your suggestion to go the BBG is a nice one, it is really unrealistic. If you have a toddler and want a little afternoon/evening runaround time, 14 RT stops on the subway is a big schlep vs. walking over to the park for an hour.

  • BrotherFromAnotherPlanet

    A fake grass ‘lawn’ suggests that this was prepared for sporting activities otherwise a grass one would’ve been laid. For those who remember clearly there were people playing soccer on the dust bowl, maybe some of the complainers should be grateful to these brave sportsmen for their hunger to play in their local neighborhood (see below) which encouraged the PD to lay new turf in the first place.
    Newsflash – The soccer players are community members too.This is the ONLY sports field in the area.
    Yes the soccer, for the relatively few hours in which it’s played, tends to take up most of the lawn – ie that part of the park designated for sports use – but the idea that people laying out or playing with little children can only use the lawn when there is so much more of the par, from the grass edges for little kids (BTW I’m a parent I know how little a child needs to be entertained) to the north side, has the rancid odor of territorial claims that remind us that this is an imperialistic nation.