Working together in the Playfields Initiative, the City of San Francisco and the City Fields Foundation have already made significant improvements for youth and athletes in San Francisco. By renovating the playfields at our first eight neighborhood parks and by overhauling the system of reserving fields for team play, we have brought more than 80,000 additional hours of annual play time to the city's athletic fields. That extra playtime has resulted in 200 new youth sports teams with 2,400 more San Francisco kids playing ball each year!
Field by field, we are working together to give every San Francisco child a safe and beautiful place to play!
Former mayor Gavin Newsom praised our work: "Our fields campaign is working. If you go to Silver Terrace, you go to Garfield, you go to Crocker-Amazon, if you go out and – I hope soon – enjoy new soccer fields at Beach Chalet or you go down to Franklin Park or South Sunset, you’ll see the benefits of the private sector joining the public... not just the play fields themselves, but the infrastructure and lighting around it. This is happening in our city. This is extraordinary."
The Playfields Initiative
In San Francisco, youth sports are entirely constrained by a lack of access to athletic fields. A 2004 study found San Francisco would need to add 35 soccer fields and 30 baseball/softball fields just to meet demand. For many years, local school teams, youth leagues, and after-school programs have accepted as many kids as they can place on fields. Once a league’s allotment of fields is full, registration is closed and kids are turned away.
Since 2006, Recreation and Parks and the nonprofit City Fields Foundation have worked to address this challenge by renovating select City athletic fields with synthetic turf and field lights. The goal is to increase playable hours on existing sports fields so every San Francisco child has a place to enjoy sports after school.
To date, our partnership has renovated seventeen multi-use sports fields in eight different parks, including Garfield Square, Silver Terrace Playground, Franklin Square, Crocker Amazon Playground, South Sunset Playground, Kimbell Playground, Mission Playground and Minnie & Lovie Recreation Center. Combined with our other efforts, the synthetic turf and field light additions have created more than 80,000 hours of new annual playtime in our parks, allowing for 2,400 more kids to play each year on 200 new teams!