During the week the field, a non-profit focused on youth soccer, houses the USSF Development Academy, but on Saturday nights the field is rented out for tournament play as part of a multi-week soccer tournament, according to Chris Welch, who sits on the field’s Board of Directors.
Francesca Pellot, who lives adjacent to the field at the intersection of 60th Street and 59th Avenue, says that during the week the field is calm, but that the weekend tournaments have gotten out of control.
“Daily life during the week is fine, but its stressful knowing this is going to happen on the weekends,” she said.
She said she had witnessed people coming in with hidden liquor bottles, as well as minors consuming alcohol on the premises. She said this has led to numerous incidents in the surrounding areas, including people sitting on her and neighbors’ stoops, urinating on lawns, and acting inappropriately towards neighbors.
Her mother, Norma Canepa, said one man, ostensibly extremely intoxicated, had exposed his genitals to her when she confronted him urinating on her yard.
“They need to hire proper security for the sake of everyone’s safety,” Canepa said.
Welch said that no alcohol was allowed on the premises and security guards have been hired to check for alcohol at the event, with two stationed at the door and five on the field.
“We have seven security personnel whose role is to check for alcohol and make sure that everyone is behaving according to the rules,” he said in an e-mail “We have also installed security cameras to increase our ability to patrol the event. If someone is found consuming alcohol, then they are asked to leave.”
He said he had not seen evidence of public urination at the events, with full bathroom facilities available to the players and spectators.
“We cannot be responsible for the behavior of individuals once they leave our property, but if we find evidence that individuals are urinating from our property onto the property of others, then we will take immediate action,” he said.
He also said that microphones were utilized at the events, but that the rental agreement stipulated that event was to shut down by 10 p.m.
Canepa has brought the problem to the attention of her local precinct and some elected officials, and a petition of the surrounding homes attesting to the disruptive conditions and calling for a review of the events has thus far garnered 100 signatures, she said.
“What I would like to know is what actions can take place to ensure the safety of our neighborhood before something drastic happens,” she said.
Welch welcomed a discussion of the concerns.
“We try to be respectful of our neighbors and we would be glad to talk to any of our neighbors about their grievances,” he said.