We need more field space in Hoboken for organized sports. The developers and the politicians keep promising more "open space", and then all we end up with is a little patch of grass designated for passive use (no ball playing, no organized sports). Frankly, it's ridiculous, and it's time for the city to step forward and make some changes before it's too late. Why can't the politicians force the developers to build the promised fields before they start construction on their high-rise complexes?
Here are some numbers to think about. In the fall, there are 600 Hoboken kids playing on 30 recreational league soccer teams. Then there are 13 all-star (travel) teams as well. These teams are able to use the Little League Field and the Hoboken High School field at limited times in the fall, but the large majority of the time Sinatra Field is used. Sometimes there are four teams practicing at one time down at Sinatra Field. That field is used continuously from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. every single Saturday and Sunday and from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. every weeknight.
As for baseball, the situation is equally bad. We have over 500 kids (ages 6-16) all playing on basically one baseball field (some of the older teams play at Hoboken High, and the instructional league uses Sinatra Park). Our children should not be playing Little League games until 10:30 p.m. on school nights, but sadly there are no other times to schedule the games. Because there are games every single afternoon and evening, there is almost no opportunity for the baseball teams to even practice once the season has started.
The Hoboken Recreational Department and its many volunteers (most coaches) do an excellent job of accommodating the ever-increasing numbers of Hoboken children who are becoming involved in outdoor team sports, and they do the best they can to make our sports programs here in Hoboken as good as they are. They should be commended for all their hard work and for all the time they put into scheduling field space. Their job is only getting more and more difficult as Hoboken's school-age population grows and grows. It's hard to increase the number of teams when you have such limited field space, and it's not fair to the kids when they have to share playing time with the other 16 or more kids on their baseball team.
I'm glad I've made the decision to raise my three kids in Hoboken but I'm incredibly frustrated with the field situation, and no one seems to be doing anything about it. With each new high rise complex that gets built, we get some tiny piece of grass instead of what we were initially promised in some glossy piece of literature sent to us. Where is our baseball field at the Maxwell Place? When are they going to start building the sports complex at 1600 Park? The kids of Hoboken are waiting for the answers to these questions.