New York Soccer Fields Under Threat
REPORTED BY Chinatown Soccer Club, 7, February 2009

New York (Chinatown Newswire) — The New York City Council will discuss shutting down most artificial turf surfaces here at a meeting on Monday, the Newswire has learned.

The proposed bill states that “it shall be unlawful to use crumb rubber or crumb rubber infill for any purpose in any park or for any surface intended for use at any time for recreational purposes within the city of New York.”

The new legislation potentially threatens both Forsyth Road and the Chinatown Soccer Club’s more modern training facility at Stanton Street in lower Manhattan.

The New York Times reported back in May that “at the heart of the dispute is whether synthetic turf, particularly crumb rubber fields made from recycled tires, places athletes at risk because of the presence of lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have caused cancer and organ damage in animals and may be a cancer risk to people if they are exposed over a long period.”

However, the article goes on to explain that “a draft report conducted on behalf of the Bloomberg administration says that there is no scientific evidence that synthetic turf fields in New York pose major health hazards for people playing on them.”

“This is obviously an outrage and we will do everything possible to keep the city from closing down our fields,” Coach Stochl said in a statement.

The plan has incensed the New York soccer community and its potential effects were summed up concisely in an e-mail chain letter by Metro Soccer NY which runs numerous adult soccer leagues in the city.

“In this current climate we know that if this happens [shutting down turf fields] there is no money to replace these fields and the consequences will be extreme for all the children and adults who play in the city,” the letter read.

New York City soccer players are encouraged to contact their local city council members and write to City Councilwoman Helen D. Foster of the Bronx who chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee to help save New York soccer.



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