In December 2021, NYC Parks and Congressman Ritchie Torres announced plans to completely refurbish the Crotona Park soccer field. This new renovation project was made possible through the support and generosity of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC and the New York City Football Club (NYCFC).
The new Crotona Park soccer field will be entirely made from polyethylene synthetic material, which is eco-friendly and in accordance with NYC Parks guidelines. It will provide deserving kids in the area with a safe and quality environment to pursue soccer and get involved in the local community.
In addition to rebuilding the field, NYCFC’s foundation, City in the Community, is working directly with the UAE Embassy to provide a complimentary youth soccer program. The upcoming program is expected to kick off in the spring of 2022 and will run all the way through 2026.
The renovation project has received widespread support from local partners and government officials. Excited for what the future holds, NYCFC CEO Brad Sims released the following statement:
“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.”
On behalf of the UAE Embassy, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba continued, “We are delighted to bring world-class soccer facilities to Crotona Park in the Bronx. This brand new field, with NYCFC’s commitment to a long-term coaching program, will positively impact the lives of many kids in this area.”
This is not the first time the UAE Embassy and NYCFC have worked together to provide children better access to quality soccer fields and education. In 2012, the embassy partnered with the City Football Group’s (CFG) Manchester City Football Club to build an enclosed rooftop soccer field in East Harlem. The field was the first of its kind in NYC and now serves more than 400 kids a week.
Just four years later, the partners teamed up again to renovate a soccer field at PS 24 in Brooklyn. This project was a product of the UAE’s larger commitment to helping restore communities that were displaced by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012.
Learn more about the UAE Embassy’s Community Soccer Program.