Edgely Field is the prospective site for a new turf football field and track with surrounding bleachers. The Parkside area needs a stadium for its youth sports programs and our campaign supports building one, but is a well-maintained and heavily-used grass field the right place for it? Learn what’s happening and take action.
In a nutshell: The city of Philadelphia has an initiative called Rebuild, which is dedicated to reinvigorating abandoned properties. This project is part of Mayor Kenney’s Rebuilding Community Infrastructure Initiative. They've selected Edgely as the site for a future stadium to start a new community, not realizing how well-cared for it is and how much of a staple it is to many communities and tens of thousands of people a year.
Edgely has been the foundation of the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance (PADA) community for decades. The “Edgely experience” is what makes PADA such a unique organization and would no longer be possible if this project were to be completed as planned. Edgely is also home to Prior Cricket Club, one of the oldest cricket clubs in the country and the original users of the 80-year-old Edgely Clubhouse.
We believe the city has not fully and carefully considered the pros and cons of all potential sites for this stadium. Representatives from Rebuild and other city offices have repeatedly expressed surprise at how beautiful the grass fields at Edgely are as well as how often the space is filled to capacity with athletic activity. Yet at no point have they indicated that these factors should be considered during their site selection process.
Our beloved Edgely Ultimate Field is the prospective site for a new astro turf football field and track with surrounding bleachers.
This project is part of Mayor Kenney’s Rebuilding Community Infrastructure Initiative (Rebuild).
The city of Philadelphia and especially district 4 are long overdue for new and improved athletic facilities. Their motto is: "Addressing years of deferred maintenance and lack of investment, Rebuild is reviving the community spaces that residents rely on, and communities thrive in." Significant sums of money have been raised through fundraising and the city beverage tax so that facilities such as this proposed stadium can be built.
Look at the new Super Sites in south Philadelphia and Germantown that are getting major usage. Or Brady Field (Temple area). They are all in well-lit areas and have multiple bus routes going right past them. Edgely, by contrast, is not convenient or even safe for kids to access via public transportation; kids going home at night would have to walk ¼ mile down a poorly lit road alongside the woods just to get the nearest bus route. There are no nearby schools. Foot traffic will be minimal as there are no residential or commercial areas in the vicinity. Belmont Avenue is a notoriously unsafe road for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Building a stadium at Edgely decreases recreational capacity. Because of the location’s poor accessibility, the expected usage from a site will not be greater than the loss of use. The four fields set to be eliminated are host to approximately 500 ultimate frisbee games per year: 350 during summer leagues, 100 games during adult spring leagues, 50 in youth tournaments throughout the calendar year.
Edgely fields are used by many communities, not just PADA. It's used by many communities that all share this space:
Ultimate is one of the most affordable sports for youth, and PADA actively assists youth with cleats, discs, and waiving league registration costs, as well as needs-based scholarship programs for traveling teams and coaches. There is also a unique economy of scale achieved at a site as rare as Edgely, where 14 schools can compete at the same time.
Ultimate is one of the few sports that is co-ed at the highest levels. Our leagues push equal playing time for all genders, and try to encourage that involvement from an early age through partnerships with Girls’ Ultimate Movement (GUM) and the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC). PADA has over 1000 youth players who were active in 2019. PADA has significant plans to expand local youth initiatives including summer camps and involvement with local rec centers to provide free and low cost programming to youth.
Between the Spring and Summer seasons alone, 1,500 people use Edgely’s fields for Ultimate, Cricket, and Disc Golf. Edgely currently sees 100,000 unique visits per year. Each visit helps stimulate the local economy whether it be buying gas, food, or sports drinks, or dining and lodging during tournaments.
PADA has invested a great deal of volunteer hours and money maintaining Edgely fields; we understand that resources for field maintenance and upkeep are often scarce, and PADA is proud to be trusted with the upkeep of the fields at a cost of $40,000+ and 300 hours per year.
PADA is currently working with a number of high and middle Philadelphia schools to support and create new opportunities to host school teams. Edgely is slated to be the home field for all of these teams. The expansion of school teams is a priority set in PADA’s Racial Equity Plan.
The Edgely community cannot continue to exist without your involvement. We need to show the city that Edgely is home to a thriving, multicultural community. Edgely is beautiful grass field that is used over 100,000 times a year by diverse group of recreational sports enthusiasts including biking, cricket, ultimate frisbee, disc golf and hikers. Without Edgely, this community may cease to exist.
We understand this is a complicated issue. If you have any questions about it please reach out.
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