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Who uses Mayfield astro turf soccer field?

Original post made by Carol, Palo Verde, on Sep 5, 2006

Is AYSO using the Mayfield soccer field? Are new groups now coming into Palo Alto to use these facilities or do we get to use them ourselves? I ask because my son's soccer practice at Jordan has just been shortened due to the fact that local Jordan residents do not want any noise after 6.00 p.m. Their reasoning, quite justified I should think, is that we now have a designated night time soccer field in Palo Alto and Jordan is no longer needed for soccer. Is this correct? Is there an overseeing body somewhere that can tell us, the soccer moms of Palo Alto, who is using Mayfield and do we get to use it? We want to know!

Comments (7)

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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 6, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I am a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and formerly was part of GotSpace?, which is the group of community sports advocates in Palo Alto who developed the comprehensive playing fields study a few years back.

It is wonderful to see Mayfield opened, and we all should celebrate this fanstastic new asset in our community. Even with its opening, there remains a severe shortage of playing field supply in Palo Alto relative to demand. Mayfield by itself will not "fix" this chronic field shortage problem, but it is a great step forward.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is updating and reviewing the "playing areas" (both outdoor and also now indoor) question in Palo Alto, so we can make some recommendations to City Council and the community about additional capacity that will be required to meet our needs. The idea is to plan and develop Palo Alto's playing areas for the future, so that demand and supply are lined up as much as possible. The Commission should start to have preliminary information later this year, so stay tuned.

The Community Services department at Lucie Stern is responsible for scheduling and assigning all fields for use in Palo Alto. You should contact them to get specifics about who is assigned which fields when, if you are curious. Policy gives Palo Alto-based youth sports priority to use fields, and there is a hierarchy of priority that goes from there. From my own personal experience as a youth sports advocate in Palo Alto for many years, I think they do a very admirable job juggling a scarce supply of playing fields, and they are very open about what they do and what is assigned to whom.

AYSO has people in its leadership who take on the responsibility of working with the city to get fields for its soccer season. You can find out from them what sort of allocation they received for use of Mayfield's facilities. There are other sports interests in the community, some Palo Alto based, some not, which no doubt will get to use Mayfield. Older youth clubs and adult clubs are able to play at times that are not in conflict with the younger children's leagues schedules, and you can expect to see them playing at Mayfield, with them getting assigned consistent with City policy.

The Jordan noise and traffic matter should not be co-mingled with Mayfield. Each is part of a much bigger puzzle, and it is an over-simplification to say Mayfield at night takes the place of Jordan fields. It would be mis-leading to think that there is a one-to-one trade-off between the two fields, and I hope our community does not view Mayfield as a pancea for the many field issues we still face as a community. Believe me, Mayfield is near and dear to my heart, and we still have many important playing area usage shortage matters that must be addressed in the coming months and years.

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Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 6, 2006 at 3:33 pm


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer this question. I have now seen my son's schedule and he does get to play some games at Mayfield, which he is very excited about.

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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 6, 2006 at 8:01 pm

You are welcome, and it is NOT astro-turf! Sport Turf is a totally different technology, introduced around the late 1990's, and is becoming increasingly popular for recreational field usage, including at the NFL and collegiate level. It looks, feels and plays much more like natural grass, is even safer than natural turf in most applications, and pays for itself in less than eight years compared to real grass upkeep costs.

Real grass will always be best, but unless you have the deep pockets and control of the field the way Stanford or the Giants have with their team fields, sport turf is a very fine surface for recreational field usage.

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Posted by Ed B.
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 7, 2006 at 10:17 am

The turf at Mayfield is amazing. It feels like real grass - without the bare spots and sprinkler heads.

There's an ultra-close-up picture of it here. Web Link I think it's still the top photo.

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Posted by R.S.
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 9, 2006 at 2:48 pm

This is NOT a comment directed to Paul Losch or to anyone posting on this thread, but instead to the City Council a couple of years ago who decided to allow soccer fields on the Mayfield site. It's too late to reverse this decision, but it's really dumb to have school kids crossing two of the city's busiest streets (El Camino and Page Mill Road) to get to a soccer match. Somebody is going to get hit by a car, most likely from a car trying to turn at this intersection and not noticing a kid. There are so many abandoned see-through office sites in Palo Alto to the west of the Bayshore Freeway frontage road, along Fabian Way that could have been demolished and turned into soccer fields. If you don't believe what a hazard we have created, take a few minutes some afternoon between 3 and 7 p.m. and watch the kids trying to nagivate through the Page Mill-El Camino intersection.

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Posted by Fer
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I have to congratulate all the people that made the Mayfield Complex a reality!!!I hope that the Mt. View City Council learns how to approach and execute a need in the community!!


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm

My son plays lacrosse at Mayfield. I like the fact that it is far removed from residences so that people don't take their dogs to poop there. Dogs are not allowed at Mayfield, but you always get those who don't follow rules, unfortunately.

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