Over 100 Hoboken residents attended the unveiling of 2 mini soccer pitches paid for by the New York Red Bulls and the U.S. Soccer Foundation as part of their “Safe Place to Play” initiative.
“These two mini pitches are really going to be an innovative way for residents, most importantly our youth, to be able to play under this viaduct,” Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said during a press conference yesterday.
The viaduct project was a $57 million endeavor and one of the largest projects for a Department of Public Works (DPW) in Hudson County history, according to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
The viaduct has a public park, dog run, basketball court and now mini pitches that will be utilized by youth athletes and the Hoboken City FC Club.
“These two new mini pitches are just one more example of our commitment, to the City of Hoboken, of adding open space and providing open space amenities for our community,” DeGise stated.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise also mentioned the growth in popularity for soccer, especially among the youth, and now the viaduct provides children a new and safe place to play.
The New York Red Bulls Street Team and two Red Bull Players, Aurelien Collin and Felipe Martin, also welcomed the young players as part of the event.
Also in attendance were New York Red Bulls Color Analyst Shep Messing and General Manager Marc de Grandpre.
Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), Zimmer and DeGise gave the “first kick” while Messing played goal keeper.
Hoboken City FC players later played on the new pitch with Red Bull’s Collin.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation previously awarded the City of Hoboken a $200,000 grant which was used to fund 1600 Park for the soccer fields, which the mayor noted during the ceremony.
The pitches, located under the 14th Street Viaduct between Adams and Jefferson Streets, are open to the public all year round on a first-come, first-served basis between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.