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Apr 05, 2023

A donation from the U.S. Soccer Foundation will bring two mini-pitch soccer fields to two Cleveland parks.

The mini-pitch soccer fields will be installed at the Lonnie Burten Park in Ward 5, represented by Councilman Richard Starr, and at the Halloran Park in Ward 11, represented by Councilman Danny Kelly.

A tennis court at each park is being repurposed to become a mini-pitch soccer field. The fields are slated to open July 1st , 2023. The Lonnie Burton Park court has been unplayable for years. Halloran Park will still have one tennis court after the conversion and there are other courts nearby.

Mini-pitch fields differ from regular soccer fields in a number of ways - Mini-Pitches are artificial turf or hard surfaces surrounded by a rebound board system with integrated goals. The ball remains constantly in play. Mini-Pitches open up greater access to soccer, more ball contact, more decisions, more goals, creating a faster, more intensive experience than on a regular pitch.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation states that “mini-pitches are ideal for urban areas and other communities…These small, customized, hard-court surfaces are perfectly suited for organized soccer programs and pick-up games.” The foundation is  committed to creating 1,000 mini-pitch courts by 2026 and claim that they introduce new people to soccer.

Council approved the donation that will include lighting, fencing, goals, benches, ADA-compliant access, and lockable storage at each location.

Sponsors for the soccer fields include the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Black Players for Change, the Black Women’s Player Collective, Mosco Lighting, and Adidas. See a summary of Ord.: No.: 250-2023.