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Mission Soccer Reservation System to Be Axed

Scott Lucas | October 16, 2014 | Story Politics

After a week of protests following the release of a video showing a dispute between local technology guys and kids over a Mission soccer field, the department of Recreation and Parks has announced that it will be abandoning a reservation system that had set the stage for the dispute.

In other words, it's the minimum viable solution. It doesn't fix the problem of insufficient supply, nor the larger issues of class and race. But at least it's something. Like we said yesterday, sometimes the fix that fixes least is best.

According to Mission Local, at a meeting of the Latino Democratic Club last night, Parks and Rec head Phil Ginsburg said that the reservation system would be discontinued at the Mission Playground soccer fields. It will remain in effect at the city's other parks. No adult permits will be issued at that location, although permitting will still continue for youth league practices and games.

As the Chronicle has pointed out, the backdrop to the dispute is an insufficient supply of fields to meet rising demand, quoting one longtime soccer coach as saying, "You have a great little neighborhood field now that everybody wants to play on. It could have been a bunch of Russian guys. It could have been a bunch of taxi drivers. It could have been anybody." The field dispute has been seized on by both proponents and opponents of building a new soccer field with artificial turf near the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park, an issue that will appear on this November's ballot.

This morning, locals opposed to the reservation system made their case at a Rec and Parks Commission meeting and held a protest at City Hall, in part to demand the ouster of Ginsburg.

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