New Valencia Playground soccer field opens next week!

We were all pretty bummed to find out a while back that Valencia Playground and Pool was closing for renovation that would take over a year.  While we welcomed the idea of modern improvements like a new turf soccer field and futuristic playground equipment, there were also a number of concerns voiced by the community regarding access to these improvements, since the other recently created soccer fields in the Mission (Garfield and Franklin) have replaced the free-form pickup nature of the sport with rigid scheduled blocks restricting use that are a massive pain in the ass to reserve.

While efforts were made to reach out to the primarily-Latino footballers who played in this park and agree to a compromise on when the area would be available for free use, there was some skepticism as to whether the new allotments and enforcement would be fair.  Well, starting next week we finally get a chance to see how it will all work out, according to Patrick Hannan from the City Fields Foundation:

The full park will open later this summer but the new soccer field will “officially” re-open with a small ribbon-cutting ceremony at 930am on Tuesday, May 22 followed by some soccer play with the students from Everett Middle School. The soccer field and Valencia Street play area will remain open through the rest of construction.

Please join us! Should be a nice event and you can be among the first to try out the new soccer field.

Of course, not everyone seems happy about the news:

What’s the deal with every new playground not having shade? I can’t wait for this place to open, but it will probably take 5 years for whatever stupid little tree they put in to grow enough to provide shade. I’ll just have to take an umbrella.


I guess Im the complainer here. I hate this park. First they “accidentally had to cut down all of the beautiful huge mature trees. Then they removed all grass with cement (I mean side to side, front to back). Then they put in a bunch of kids shit even though there is a full great kids area just a few feet away. I hate it.

And those both seem to be reasonable points.  What’s your take on the situation?


37 Responses to “New Valencia Playground soccer field opens next week!”

  1. no.thanks. says:


    who cares.

  2. mae ann says:

    taking out mature shady trees and replacing them with rubber, cement, and fake grass is really sad.

    • SFdoggy says:

      Actually those trees were pretty horrible; they hadn’t been pruned in years and just made the park dark and dank.

      Street trees are usually great, but those were just not working. Even the City’s arborist was not sad to see them go.

  3. MrEricSir says:

    Shit, talk about whiners. Do they remember the “park” that was there before!? There were more hobos than kids.

    • D. Jon Moutarde says:

      Yes, I do remember the park that was there, before. I did not worry that there were no kids there. Rather, I was happy with the number of trees that were there. The kids had their sunny, silly parks, and the winos had their gloomy, full-of-SF-history trees. It was a good balance. Now it’s gone.

  4. ed says:

    there was no shade in most of that park. the area with the tree(s) had some.

  5. blah says:

    I’ve been skeptical about park revamps at Garfield Park and Dolores Park, but those have both been completely f’in awesome and have dramatically increased the use of both spaces. (Relevant here: the Garfield soccer field gets like 20 times as much use as the old field did, and it’s completely livened up the area.) So let’s see how it actually works in practice.

  6. scum says:

    Fuck park’s, we need more bars.

  7. sfnola says:

    Complaining that they “put in a bunch of kids shit” is not a reasonable point.

  8. thefro says:

    Occasionally I will be walking around and see a kid with their parents…and that is like “Bro fuck all these hipsters walking down Valencia, I wanna go on the FUCKIN SLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE!!!!!” but like the park is closed so he/she can’t hit up the sweet slide.

    That kid is bummed. All this does is make the kid realize that his parents’ preference in neighborhood are cramping his/her style. And it is certainly reasonable to consider the possibility that while walking around the kid might start to make the connection between the neighborhood and daddy’s Chrome backpack and fixie, and mommy’s sweet new paisley Toms. And the kid might start resenting those things.

    When the park opens, it will be far more legitimate for the kid’s folks to say “Yo Bender, let’s go walk down Valencia” without worry that their own offspring, the fruit of their loins will flat out mock preferred strolling venue.

    I guess the moral of the story is that you have to keep parks open if you don’t want your kid mocking your 50-year-old stretchy chest tat.

  9. Bender says:

    I”m Futurama Bender! Bite My Ass,Fucker

  10. susan says:

    There is a great! Safe! Fun! kids park 5 feet away well fenced and off the street that I take my kids to. Why does every ugly inch have to be for kids, there need to be great adult spaces as well. When this park was permitted the trees had to stay and then the construction crew “accidentally undermined the roots of one tree and they caused it to fall on a car. They had all the trees down within about an hour late in the afternoon on a Friday night. Such BS. They should have been forced to replace the trees with somewhat mature trees.

    • Rob says:

      I was there when the first tree fell down… the only thing keeping those trees in the ground was the 40 year old pavement. One fell on its own, which made the next one start to lean… by the end of the day, they removed the rest – presumably for safety reasons. And to someone’s earlier point.. these trees are super shitty. They have nasty large root systems that ruin sidewalks, die if the temp drops below 45° and capture way too much moister (which is why 24th is full of those nasty little garbage flies.

      Mature trees can’t be transplanted, really. But they can plant (probably did) trees that mature quickly.

  11. Its it says:

    Thank God we have another place for the rich white parents or their Latina nannies to take kids

  12. jlassen says:

    This middle class breader is looking forward to taking his kid to the new playground. To hell with you haters. Prior to the renovation, the only people who ever used the “grass” or “shade” in the street front part of the park were winos and dogs. I have nothing against either… But there is a whole big park just a couple blocks away for wino’s and dogs. :)

    • stiiv says:

      Hells yeah. That place was full of old men drinking at 11AM. I don’t know where they’re going…. and I don’t really care.

      And anyway, it’s not a playground for *kids*. It’s a photo op for ironic hipster shots!

  13. Rob says:

    I’m looking forward to having a place quieter than Dolores to hang out and read, or eat lunch in. This is a HUGE improvement over the previous version of the park… trees take time to grow… there wasn’t that much shade in the park in the first place (aside from that provided by the adjacent buildings)… the grass that there was, was being used for dogs to shit in… the soccer field was pavement… the courts in the back were almost never used… definitely sketchy drunk “homeless” people and shady drug deal shit happening in the back near the alley all the time.

    Also, what does a newly renovated park have to do with white people? HAHAHA

    • D. Jon Moutarde says:

      “there wasn’t that much shade in the park in the first place (aside from that provided by the adjacent buildings)”

      If you were hoping to have some sort of credibility in your comment, you destroyed any possibility of it with that remark.

      Trees. Big fucking trees.

      • Rob says:

        Except you apparently don’t remember that the sun only shines west for a few early morning hours. The rest of the day, it comes from the south/south-west and shines over the gaping “tree hole” above the soccer field and the tennis courts. i.e. no shade.

        Main point being, who cares where the trees were, or how large they were… they’re gone… and now there are new ones. Shits new, and clean, and ready to be sat in.

  14. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    It’s a shame to lose the nice trees that were there before. Hopefully they are planting plenty of new ones that will mature quickly.

  15. Olu says:

    i’m glad the soccer field reopened, and I hope it continues to be mainly for pickup games- but I too was surprised that the whole place is concrete. The grass was nice before and it wasn’t only hobos who used it.

  16. soccer player says:

    Reserving soccer fields is somewhat of a pain, and maybe displaces some pickup games, but there’s a big need for fields in the city for organized leagues for kids and adults both, and not just for soccer (see: Beach Chalet fields renovation project, City Fields Foundation). The city also makes some money from field reservations ($26 per hr, with an extra $10 for lights at night), and a turf field gets much more use for pickup and leagues than a concrete pickup-only space. I think it’s great to see more and better fields in the neighborhood for everyone.

  17. Dick Jams says:

    People in this city bitch too much.

  18. Valencia says:

    I think that when renovators are planning for park revamps, it would be a good ideal to invite the public to make suggestions on some of the things that they would like to be included in the parks. After all, these parks are used by the public, right?

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