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Updates to Rules Regarding Permits for the Use of Ballfields and Courts

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Rule status: Proposed

Agency: DPR

Comment by date: August 8, 2024

Rule Full Text

The Department of Parks and Recreation (“the Department”) is proposing to amend its rules to clarify the requirements for individuals and groups applying to reserve ballfields and courts under the jurisdiction of the Department and to update its athletic permit fees.

Attendees who need reasonable accommodation for a disability such as a sign language translation should contact the agency by calling 1 (212) 360-1327 or emailing [email protected] by July 29, 2024

Send comments by

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Fax: 1 (212) 360-1373
  • Mail: The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue Room/Floor: 313 ; New York, New York 10065

Public Hearings


August 8, 2024
10:00am - 11:00am EDT


Chelsea Recreation Center
430 West 25th Street
New York City New York 10001

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Hearing is in-person only.

Disability Accommodation
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Comments close by August 8, 2024

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Online comments: 4

  • Franny Civitano

    Hello DPR,

    Generally, I support your efforts to make the permitting process more equitable and fair. Being on our work’s softball team is one of the things I look forward to most each year, and this is only possible through use of DPR fields. Thank you for making this possible. Our league tends to end up most at Commodore Barry Park and, occasionally, Prospect Park. I want sports, and use of these fields, to be accessible to all and a place of community and fun.

    However, there is a communication gap that tends to make using these fields unreliable at times, and it impacts folks’ lives in a real way. After even moderate rain events, these fields (that are often not level or maintained ideally with cut grass) are often left that makes them unsafe and unreasonable to play on. Huge puddles throughout the infield, on the pitcher’s mound, or a swamp at home base. Our league has gotten into a habit of having individual players who live nearer to these fields to go and assess field conditions early in the day in hopes of seeing anyone attempting to rake or otherwise make the fields playable. This means we have people taking time out of their work days to check if we’ll be able to play later that evening. This is all because there is no proactive communication from DPR or the associated conservancies as to the status of the fields to permit-holders, nor is there a clear point of contact to ask about the status of fields, and if someone does have a contact, there is not responsiveness.

    While doing whatever you can to ensure that people who sign up for permits get to use the fields is, of course, ideal, I know this isn’t always possible. I recognize that budget or staffing shortages may prevent this from happening, however, it seems reasonable that as part of the permitting process, there is some proactive, or at least reactive, communication about the status of the fields. We have many parents on our team who have to arrange childcare in order to play at all, and others who arrange their schedules to be at these games. Showing up to a field that is unplayable (which has happened at least once this season) is a huge inconvenience for everyone invovled.

    I ask that as you pursue more equitable access to permits, you also consider what happens after permits are issued and ensure there is proactive communication to permit-holders as to the realistic availability of the fields.

    Comment added July 16, 2024 9:22am
  • Ron Bello

    I am commenting on the proposed rule changes for Practice / Adult Recreation Pickup games not able to be renewed in the new updated rules.

    I am a small host who runs 1-2 weeks a game held with NYC Park Permits which I pay for. Our group of players adjust their schedules to join the games. Making them non-renewable would destroy the continuous nature of adult recreation. Further, my group runs at a bare minimum cost to players. Typically $3-$4 per game of 11v 11 players for 2 hours. Permits at a lighted field are $50.00 for 2 hours. The math being that I make $20.00 or so for ogranizing and hosting.We also host no more than 2 games at most per week.

    Small groups, with limited permits, and a fee structure to just cover the Pemit Fee should be given the option to renew their permits to keep their games going. Parks are to be used by the community. Small groups that charge minimally are what was originally meant to exist before greedy organizers started hogging the fields and charging astronomical fees to play soccer on a PUBLIC Park.

    Having small organizers be given different permits, every season, and keep fighting for them will just make them give up and let greedy organizers take their place. Small hosts should not face off in an arms race with greedy for profit organizers

    The revised guidelines should trend to protect small organizers who look to build a community at prices charged to simply cover the permit fee. Their must be a distinction for groups such as mine

    Comment added July 19, 2024 10:51am
  • MJ

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this new proposed rule.  

    We are a nonprofit sports organization serving a local community in Queens. We have struggled for the last 3 years to secure an adequate soccer field for our children’s program (which by the way, only meets once a week for 2 hours).  We struggled because each season, we had to tackle different locations and different fields since most of the field permits were already issued to other academies and private organizations who hold multiple permits.  While we want to see ALL children developing interest in soccer and sports, in general, we would like to be able to have fair access to the fields so that we can provide this experience for our small community as well.

    So we are very pleased to learn that DPR is proposing equal and fair access for programs like ours.  And we want to thank them for allowing us to operate and hopefully bring more benefit to our community at large.

    Comment added July 22, 2024 4:30pm
  • Lee Becker

    I’m concerned about the cost increase of permits from $8/hr to $20/hr. This has the potential to exclude organizations with a 2.5x increase. In any case where re-painting courts increases the number of permits needed (like Tompkins Square Park), this could go from $8 to $40 per hour, which is 5x and very prohibitive.

    Another thought is could there be an adult not-for-profit category?

    Comment added July 25, 2024 1:50pm