Soccer league makes pitch for keeping field

By Lincoln Anderson

The Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors will meet this Thurs., Sept. 27 at the Department of City Planning’s Spector Hall, at 22 Reade St., at 4 p.m. The Trust, however, will not be voting at the meeting on whether to pick one of two rival private development proposals for Pier 40, according to Chris Martin, the state-city authority’s spokesperson. The Pier 40 issue is also not on the meeting agenda that is posted online.

Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of the Pier 40 Working Group, said it wouldn’t make sense for the Trust to vote on Pier 40 yet, since the Working Group has a meeting scheduled with Diana Taylor, the Trust’s new chairperson, early next month.

Nevertheless, community members plan to turn out in force Thursday to show the Trust that they don’t support The Related Companies’ $626 million proposal for an entertainment complex — including a Cirque du Soleil theater, movieplex for the Tribeca Film Festival, music hall and restaurants — for the 14-acre pier at the end of W. Houston St.

“We need to keep the community opposition to the Related proposal fresh in the eyes of the board,” an e-mail message to parents of children in the Downtown United Soccer Club read. “This time we would like to have organization delegates from each travel team represent the needs of each of the teams of children that use the pier. Please make sure that there is at least one representative and that they wear something from the team — a jersey probably is most recognizable.”

The local youth sports leagues also feel strongly that a rooftop artificial-turf sports field, which Related is proposing, would be inferior to the existing turf field in the pier’s enclosed courtyard, which offers protection from winds off the Hudson River and is cooler in summer.