It’s difficult to build “fields of dreams” in the Oakland Hills. Based on our recent survey, Montclarions and Piedmonters recognize the field shortage but also want to keep development to a minimum. They believe that current parks, schools and colleges could be better scheduled for league sports.
Is There A Shortage?
About 60 percent of survey takers said there are not enough youth soccer fields while 40 percent felt otherwise. We saw similar results for little league baseball and adult sports leagues.
The contention becomes more clear when asking whether we should “make do” with current field options. Some 46 percent disagree/strongly disagree and 45 percent agree/strongly agree – quite the horse race!
Where To Play Sports
Despite their disparate attitudes, respondents seem interested in solving the field shortage and moving beyond the status quo for sports practices and games.
Over 70 percent said they agree/strongly agree that we should use our public schools and colleges more, while 50 percent want to approach private schools and colleges as well.
Locals also are willing to burn fossil fuels, and drive around Oakland or even Berkeley as needed. When it comes to traipsing to Contra Costa County, however, respondents are less eager to go through the tunnel.
Scheduling City Parks
The survey also sought to understand optimal uses of the Montclair and Piedmont parks and their existing play fields. We asked what percentage of time should be devoted to league play on weekdays and weekends for all five parks.
Over 40 percent of respondents want to schedule 50-74 percent of city field time for league purposes. Another 20 percent suggest 75 percent or more on weekdays, jumping to 30 percent on the weekends.
Pay More For Play
Besides using the public parks more intensively, survey takers are willing to open up their wallets in return for more play time – and over a third look at nearby public and private colleges to close the gap.
In fact, sixty percent said they would agree/strongly agree to pay club or use fees to secure schools and colleges. These fees would help maintain fields in return for play time, which might be possible to arrange…or a pipe dream.
More info: The Field Survey is reported in two postings. See the first report about Blair Park here.