Hoboken City Futbol Club “operations will cease in their current form” after this season, HCFC President Leo Pellegrini said in an email blast just two days after Mayor Ravi Bhalla claimed the club owed the city $76,000 for reserved field space.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Many are aware of the recent issues the Club is having in regard to field space in Hoboken with further access in the fall being questionable. Due to this impasse coupled with travel League deadlines approaching, we cannot move the 2023/24 Program forward with this uncertainty,” Pellegrini began.
“While we had planned on sending out Team Invites this week, unfortunately, we are writing to inform you that at the conclusion of the 2022/23 Season our HCFC operations will cease in their current form. We suggest players seek out other alternatives for future travel play.”
He continued that pre-travel tuition for the 2023-2024 season for players born in 2016 and 2017 will be fully refunded and any June 1st installments will be cancelled, with credits expected to be initiated in the next 24 to 48 hours due to the volume of pre-travel players (over 150).
According to the HCFB website, their primary training locations are 1600 Park Ave. and Sinatra Turf Fields, with uniforms about $200 person and team fees ranging from $975 to $1,400 annually.
On Monday, Bhalla wrote a letter to HCFC parents indicating that the city would allow the spring season to continue uninterrupted, despite municipal code indicating that organizations with outstanding balances can no longer reserve field space, as HCV first reported.
He also indicated that the city will be seeking a vendor to operate a travel soccer program.
Pellegrini was the Hoboken Health and Human Services Director for 14 years until he resigned abruptly earlier this month and it now appears obvious that he and the city did not split on amicable terms.
Following an inquiry from HCV, a city spokeswoman indicated that the non-profit Hoboken Lacrosse group had “paid their invoice based on the rate for a non-profit organization, and usage of the field” while the HCFB had not, though she did not get into the particulars.
This reporter filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request today seeking clarity on fees charged to third-party sports clubs in the city, including the rates charges for field fees for both for-profit and non-profit entities.