The Plan
The Results

One only has to visit their neighborhood ball field to see the impact of City Fields’ partnership with SF Rec/Park.  Thanks to our efforts, more than 90,000 hours of new playtime has been created on San Francisco fields, allowing for more than 200 new youth sports teams with approximately 2,400 more city kids playing each year!  The Police Activities League added 50 new teams in spring 2012 alone.

Ready for play year round
Measuring Success – Field Renovations

To better understand and measure how our field renovations increasing play opportunities for kids and athletes, City Fields and Rec/Park first consider how many hours of play a sports field is hosting in its current condition.  To preserve play condition, maintain the grass and allow grass to rest and regrow, Rec/Park regularly closes all of their grass fields. 

 

The frequency of closure depends on the intensity of use, the location, the field layout and the sports being played.  Sports fields that are used heavily for organized groundsports during the busy spring and fall soccer seasons are closed more often towards the end of those seasons and during summer and winter.  Since the size of youth sports leagues in San Francisco is entirely constrained by access to athletic fields, the more playtime we can create, the more the fields are available for use and the more kids that can play. 

 

By installing synthetic turf and lights, practices and games aren’t cancelled due to rain or the need to rest the grass so it can regrow.  Depending on the time of year, the lights can add between two and four hours of additional playtime each night.  All told, our field renovations will add more than 55,000 hours of new playtime to San Francisco sports fields.

Measuring Success – Permit System Reorganization & School/Parks Field Sharing

Completed in 2007, the reorganization of Rec/Park’s permit and reservations system created nearly 35,000 hours of new playtime by scheduling league permits by season, slotting practices onto partial fields, extending the youth practice times by 30 minutes and timing the practices so one team starts as another one finishes.


The new reservation system even allows the city to ensure fair access to the highly sought-after new fields, with most youth teams now playing just one game per season on those fields so that every team gets a turn!  Instead of being offered rutted and dangerous dirt fields which were sporadically closed for maintenance, San Francisco's youth athletes in the neighborhoods we have helped now play on safe, beautiful fields.

 

In 2009, City Fields facilitated an agreement between the SF Unified School District and Rec/Park to allow community use of select school fields when not being used by the school. Rec/Park provides season-long permits to sports leagues while the school district, and host school, keep the majority of the use fee.  During just one season, approximately 475 hours of new play were made available through this innovative program.

Measuring Success – By the Numbers

In the chart below, we measured the amount of new playtime available on a field before and after installing synthetic turf and lights.  When the amount of new playtime created through field renovations is added to the new playtime created through the permits system reorganization and the SF Unified School District & Rec/Park field sharing program, we’ve created more than 90,000 hours of new playtime on San Francisco sports fields.

 

Annual Increase in Hours of Play by Park/Program

 

Increased Hours without Closures

Increased Hours without Rain-Outs

Increased Hours with Lights

Increased Hours from New Fields

Total Increase in Hours of Play

Kimbell

1,855

578

3,570

3,580

9,582

Crocker Amazon

4,109

1,089

0

7,160

12,358

South Sunset

330

366

2,569

3,580

6,845

Franklin Square

0

0

1,285

0

1,285

Garfield Square

165

183

1,285

0

1,633

Silver Terrace

165

183

1,285

3,580

5,213

Mission Playground

0

0

0

3,580

3,580

Minnie & Lovie

402 193 1,190 3,580 5,365

Beach Chalet*

1,855 578 3,570 3,580 9,582

Permit System Reorg

0

0

0

0

35,000

SFUSD Field Sharing

0

0

0

0

475

Combined Increase from Playfields Initiative Field Renovations

8,881

3,170

14,754

28,640

90,918

 *Under Construction

 

As former Viking Soccer Club Co-President Shelli Meneghetti says, "What the City Fields Foundation has done is they've taken fields that were unusable and that coaches and players didn't want to play on and have increased the capacity of the fields space so we can have good quality games on a good level surface that's a safe playing surface for the kids."