The City of Hoboken plans to continue traveling soccer with a new non-profit entity taking over in the fall, Mayor Ravi Bhalla wrote in a letter last night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I just finished a highly productive meeting with a group of parents dedicated to the continuation and growth of travel soccer in Hoboken. Our shared objective is to provide our children with the best recreational opportunities, particularly within the realm of travel soccer,” he said in a letter addressed to travel soccer families.
“Following a discussion that touched on several options, the parents decided to establish a new, 501(c)(3) organization, independent from the City, that will assume responsibility for travel soccer in Hoboken for the upcoming fall season. The parents have represented to me that this newly created organization will strongly resemble what you were used to, and that the final details about this program will be released in the near future. I want to be clear that I fully support this initiative.”
He continued that the city will not issue a request for proposals as initially planned when he revealed on Monday the Hoboken City Futbol Club owed the city $76,000 for reserved field space, as HCV first reported.
While HCFC President Leo Pellegrini, the city’s former Department of Health and Human Services who resigned abruptly earlier this month, initially vowed to fight this, he announced in an email blast the next day that the club’s ‘operations will cease in their current form’ after this season.
“It is my sincere hope that, going forward, you will not hear much from me regarding this matter, as this new group assumes leadership and facilitates an outstanding fall season for all families,” Bhalla also wrote yesterday.
“Hoboken is an extraordinary community, and in times of adversity, I am confident that we can rely on one another to rise to the occasion and make the best of any situation.”
He also credited parents Sean Quinn and Andrea Fletcher as spearheading this new program, which appears to be called Hoboken United based on a website and Instagram page created on Thursday.
“We believe this is a long term solution. Given the time constraints, our immediate focus was acting quickly to ensure that the children in Hoboken would be able to play travel soccer this fall,” Quinn said in an email following an inquiry from HCV.
“We are already working closely with the city to procure field space and do not anticipate the associated costs to be an undue financial burden on the club members.”
City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer said that Bhalla is appreciative of the parents working to get this new program off the ground, and that assuming they submit their nonprofit paperwork to the city, “they will be charged the standard nonprofit rate for field space per City ordinance.”
According to Chapter 58 of the city’s municipal code, nonprofit entities will be charged $50 an hour for the use of recreation facilities in city parks, while business entities will be charged $125 per hour or class.
In both circumstances, the filed must be reserved for a minimum of three hours.
On Wednesday, this reporter filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request seeking clarity on fees charged to third-party sports clubs in the city between 2019 and 2022.