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Kickball Club Wants to Install Lights for Nighttime Games in Gramercy

 NYC Social Sports Club proposes to install temporary lights at Peter's Field and to play until 10 p.m.
Sports Club Wants to Use Peter's Field for Late-Night Kickball
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GRAMERCY — An adult sports league wants to install lights in Gramercy's Peter's Field for nighttime kickball games, a move some residents are worried will keep them up at night.

The NYC Social Sports Club has applied to Community Board 6 and the Parks Department to put up temporary lights inside the blacktop play space on Second Avenue between East 20th and 21st streets and is seeking a permit to play as late as 10 p.m. several times a week.

“There just isn’t as much daylight in the fall,” said Amy Short, CEO of NYC Social Sports Club, explaining the need for the lights and late games.

“The time is to accommodate after-work hours, but it’ll be up for negotiation with the community.”

Some residents living in apartments surrounding the field said they were concerned that the lights and late night noise would leak into their homes.

“It would be loud at night, and we’re up at 6 in the morning,” said Jennie Arnace, who lives across the street from the field on 21st Street. “That would not work for us at all.”

Peter's Field usually closes at dusk and is open to the public for most of the day before then. NYC Social Sports Club currently has a permit to use the space for weekly kickball games on Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Students from nearby P.S. 40 and Simon Baruch Middle School also frequently use the park, said Gary Papush, chair of CB6’s parks committee.

The sports club will need a permit from the Parks Department to reserve Peter's Field this fall and use it after dusk, Papush said. Community Board 6 will hold a hearing on it next month, and then it will go to the Parks Department for final approval.

The Parks Department did not respond to a request for comment.

If the city issues the permit for nighttime games, Short said the club would rent generator-powered light towers and temporarily install them in the park for the duration of the permit.

The lights would be locked and controlled by the club, and anyone wishing to use them would have to pay a share of the rent, Short said.

Another resident said she was worried that if the club starts using the space more regularly, the community would be locked out.

“There are a lot of people who use the park,” said Cecile Norris, 31, who lives across the street.

“People walk their dog at night, and kids play. If a club goes in, I think there would be less time for the community to use it.”

Community Board 6’s Parks and Landmarks Committee will vote on the club’s proposal on Sept. 3, and asks that the community attend to voice any concerns.

“Are people concerned about a whole bunch of rowdy people late at night…or do they watch the games?” said Dan Miner, district manager of CB6. “We don’t know.”

The meeting will take place at NYU Medical Center, located at 550 First Ave., at 7 p.m.