‘For a whole year, this place has been like a graveyard,’ one Bronx worker told El Diario of the area around Yankee Stadium. The venue reopened to fans last week for the first time since the pandemic struck.
The loss of a coaches-pitch baseball game here or high-school track meet there is, for sure, a minor tragedy. But it is not an insignificant one.
In 2017, the city’s Parks Department issued 8,100 athletic permits for 877,000 hours of athletic time on DPR’s 800 ballfields—satisfying most but nowhere near all the demand for space. There are indications that pressures around parks permits are increasing.
Leagues from the northwest Bronx to Brooklyn and Staten Island report fielding 50 to 70 percent fewer players this year as other sports, longer school days, rising fees and other factors squeeze the game.