- Field refurbishment already underway and expected to be complete in winter 2021/2022
- Project includes four years of dedicated youth community programming overseen by NYCFC’s City in the Community Foundation beginning spring 2022
December 7, 2021 – Today, NYC Parks and Congressman Ritchie Torres announced plans for a $363,000 refurbishment of the Crotona Park Soccer Field, made possible through the support of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE Embassy) in Washington, DC and New York City Football Club (NYCFC). The renovation is expected to be completed in winter 2021/2022.
In addition to the rebuilding of the field, beginning spring 2022, NYCFC’s foundation, City in the Community, will provide ongoing and complimentary youth soccer programming, made possible through support by the UAE Embassy. This announcement comes on the heels of NYCFC’s historic win in Major League Soccer’s 2021 Eastern Conference Final, another milestone as the team prepares to compete in the Club’s first-ever MLS Cup Final.
“Hot off the NYCFC’s latest historic victory, the city is poised for another win – the renovation of the Crotona Park Soccer Field! This park is a gem in the heart of the Bronx, and we’re thankful to the UAE & NYCFC for their generous investment in this greenspace,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “This renovation will completely upgrade the soccer pitch and will help encourage future generations to engage in fun, healthy and safe recreation!”
“Crotona Park is an incredible public space with enormous potential and benefits for the Bronx and the entire City of New York, but for too long has not received necessary maintenance and resources. This refurbishment will ensure that our community has a newly upgraded soccer field that will offer opportunities to all Bronx residents and uplift the neighborhood. I’m proud to have worked with the NYC Parks Department, Embassy of the UAE and NYC Football Club to make this a reality and look forward to the grand opening,” said US Congressman Ritchie Torres.
“We are delighted to bring world-class soccer facilities to Crotona Park in the Bronx,” said UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba. “This brand new field, along with NYCFC’s commitment to a long-term coaching program, will positively impact the lives of many kids in this area.”
Located on the east side of Crotona Park, the field will be comprised of a polyethylene synthetic material on a stone surface, which is environmentally safe and state of the art in accordance with NYC Parks turf field specifications.
NYCFC CEO Brad Sims continued, “As we head into our first-ever MLS Cup Final, we are extremely proud to once again come together with our partners at the UAE Embassy and NYC Parks to refurbish the Crotona Park soccer pitch in a neighborhood we love so much. The Bronx has been our Club’s home since our inaugural season and we will continue to do what we can as a soccer team to support this area and provide local kids even more safe spaces to play. This was a beloved pitch that has become unusable over time, so we are confident that this reconstruction project will be high impact and transformative for this community. Importantly, this is not just one standalone pitch that we are building. With support from the UAE Embassy, we will also be providing four years of free soccer programming in the lead up to the 2026 World Cup coming to North America, which will help make this a place that the entire community can enjoy for years to come. This work is a continuation of our Club’s ongoing partnership with the UAE Embassy. Together, we have completed many projects across the City already – and will continue doing so in the future.”
The UAE Embassy and City Football Group (CFG), the majority owner of NYCFC, have collaborated before to provide deserving children access to quality playing fields along with world-class coaching and education programs. In 2012, the Embassy and CFG’s Manchester City Football Club unveiled a rooftop soccer field at PS 72 Lexington Academy in East Harlem, the first of its kind in New York City. Today, the program at PS 72 is organized and managed by City in the Community and serves more than 400 kids a week through after-school programs, promoting healthy eating and physical exercise. In 2016, the partners teamed up again on a field at PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. This project was part of the UAE’s commitment to help restore communities in New York that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.