Golden_Gate_Park_1906.jpgSan Francisco’s largest athletic field complex, the Polo Fields at Golden Gate Park, is being renovated and was scheduled to reopen in mid-March, but will be closed for an additional eight weeks due to weather issues, according to the Recreation and Parks Department.

The Polo Fields are seven full-sized sports fields that are one of the city’s most popular destinations for soccer, rugby and lacrosse. Concerts are also frequently held there, including the annual Outside Lands Festival.

The fields have been closed while crews installed a new irrigation system, improved drainage, and eliminated gophers, department officials said.

They had been in poor condition due to a high level of use, gopher holes and broken irrigation lines that forced crews to water them with hoses, according to the department.

A $1 million state grant allowed the city to renovate the fields, but rain and record low temperatures this winter have delayed the reopening by about eight weeks while the new sod fully takes root.

The delay will impact various recreational soccer leagues that were set to begin this spring, according to the department.

All youth soccer leagues are protected and being moved to alternate locations, and department staff is working to convert several other fields in the city to accommodate as many adult soccer leagues as possible.

Game times will also be extended into the evenings on weekends to help accommodate the recreational leagues.

“We sincerely apologize to the adult sports leagues for the inconveniences caused by this delay,” Dana Ketcham, supervisor of the department’s permits office, said in a statement.
“We are working diligently to find alternate accommodations for these groups, and once the Polo Fields reopen, they will once again be one of the premier sports complexes in the city,” Ketcham said.

For questions regarding existing field accommodations, people can call the department’s permits and reservations office at (415) 831-5500.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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