Hopes for hidden soccer field on Telegraph Hill

Soccer aficionados hope today’s opening of an illuminated parking lot outfitted with top-of-the-line synthetic turf on the waterfront will help alleviate The City’s shortage of soccer fields.

Roughly 50 kids from the Embarcadero and Chinatown YMCAs will flock to the bottom of Telegraph Hill for the grand opening of Telegraph Field, known as the “hidden” field because of its tucked-away location on piers 27-29.

Players from San Francisco’s professional soccer team, the California Victory, will give a clinic and tickets to tonight’s Victory game, according to John Curran, founder of the nonprofit organization San Francisco Soccer.

Curran, who is leasing the field from the port, expects rent revenue tohelp him break even.

According to a 2004 study conducted for the Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco needs another 35 soccer fields. Curran said The City has one field for every 18,750 participants.

Curran, an Alameda High School soccer coach, said popular leagues such as the San Francisco Vikings Youth Soccer League can fill up quickly, leaving out eager kids. He expects to have a full program schedule by September, reserving 10 to 15 hours a week of public playing time for kids.

The field was built a little over two years ago by the Mills Corporation.

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