Gravesend residents living on East 2nd Street near Erasmus Field (1497 McDonald Avenue) are growing tired over late night soccer games being played nearby. According to a report by the New York Daily News, neighbors are complaining to Community Board 12 over a Department of Education (DOE) permit that allows soccer lovers to play on the field after dark.
The group taking the field is known as Liga Ecuatoriana, or the “Ecuadorian League,” and is an adult men’s soccer league that has been using the field for the past 12 years. The group’s organizer, Luis Saquicili, admitted to the Daily News that weekend games tend to go late:
The group of mostly Central American immigrants hits the pitch at 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and are out by 11 p.m., he says, admitting the Friday and Saturday night games tend to go later.
“We’re not there to make enemies. We’re not there to be causing problems,” said Saquicili of the neighborhood league. “We’ve been there for a really long time and we would like to continue. We organized it so people can relax, take a break from work.”
Despite the fact that the group has been playing games for a dozen years, neighbors are finally getting tired of all the noise, forcing the DOE to look into the issue:
The noise of cheering, referees’ whistles and music wafts through open windows on cool nights, disturbing children and adults alike.
“I don’t mind the earlier games, like high school football, that’s fine,” said Chris Marino, whose home sits directly next to the field. “But past midnight, walking out at 1 a.m.? It’s a little much.”
An Education Dept. spokeswoman said it was the first they had heard of the issue, but they are “ taking it seriously.
“We will reach out to the organization and work on a fair resolution,” Marge Feinberg said.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who could qualify for the most easily outraged politician in Southern Brooklyn (just ask Jon Stewart), was predictably outraged.
“It’s outrageous,” Hikind said in a statement. “Why would the DOE be so insensitive as to grant a permit to any group until midnight in this park? They had no right to do this without first consulting with the community … The DOE made a mistake and let this group run amok.”