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Open Letter on Proposed Loss of Alameda Point Soccer Fields

An open letter from an Alameda parent in response to SunCal’s plans for Alameda Point, which include the destruction of eight soccer fields and a promise to replace only four of them with the “Sports Complex.”

Dear Alameda Politicians:

My kids play JLYS League [Jack London Youth Soccer Sports League] soccer games almost every weekend at Alameda Point. These fields are a precious natural resources. There is an acute shortage of soccer fields in the Bay Area. Losing these fields would seriously degrade the quality of life for my kids and thousands of others in Alameda and throughout the entire Bay Area. Please do whatever you can to ensure these fields are not eliminated!

Sincerely,
– Jeff Stein, P.E., Alameda

4 comments to Open Letter on Proposed Loss of Alameda Point Soccer Fields

  • Terry

    I would like to know the lease agreements for these fields. Are they only leased to Alameda teams, leagues, clubs, etc… Is there a discount offered to Alameda teams, leagues, clubs, etc… I have seen many other communities using these fields as their home fields and I am curious as to what the fee schedule is. What is the current status of these leases? Are the payments up to date? Are the details of the leases being met?

    It is easy to say these are a natural resource, they are not. This area is landfill, therefor not natural. If we are going to say we are fighting for Alamedans, then lets make sure that we are.

    Terry

  • Our understanding is that there currently are restrictions on the use of the fields that say there has to be an Alameda-based team present on the field for each game.

    Soccer organizers have also told us that there is a real benefit to Alameda kids playing other teams from around the region through the Jack London Youth Soccer League – it’s good for the kids to be able other teams of different abilities from around the region so they can improve their skills.

    We are working with soccer organizers on a proposal/business plan that shows how we can keep and expand the existing fields and make them financial viable, incorporating some of the ideas that you suggest. If you’d like to support this effort, please write to us at the “Letters” email address in the upper right.

  • Terry

    Thanks for the quick reply. I play soccer for an adult Alameda soccer club and I can assure you that these fields are not only used by Alameda teams or only when there is an Alameda team on the field.
    The restrictions you mention are interesting, are these in the leases that Parks and Recreation signs with the clubs? My concern is that other towns/cities are using these fields and not paying their fair share or worse, they are falling behind in payments and the fields continue to be used.
    The city goes to great lengths to make sure the fields are used only when conditions are right, i.e. no playing on a field that is too wet as it will cause damage to the field.
    While youth leagues are very much part of the fabric of our communities and we need to continue to have them playing in Alameda, we should consider looking at leasing the fields to other adult teams. These teams tend to be from clubs and leagues that have set fee schedules and can pay in a timely manner.

  • We agree. We think the fields should be open to everyone in the region. We are told there is a shortage of fields in Eastbay cities – Piedmont, Montclair, Oakland etc. etc. (That’s what we’re told anyway.)

    But we also believe that if Alameda taxpayers are to finance the ongoing maintenance of these fields, Alameda players should have priority. And we also agree with the idea that residents from outside of Alameda should pay their fair share to use the fields – in the case that Alameda taxpayers pay to maintain them.

    The nice thing about a public trust is that if it was funded partially from East Bay regional taxpayers – they way the Jenner Headlands Trust was partially funded with a Sonoma County 1/4 cent sales tax hike – then those regional users would be contributing to pay for maintaining the fields.

    We’ll try to get more specifics on the use restrictions for the fields – but feel free to contact the Jack London Youth Soccer League or the Alameda Soccer Club directly.

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