Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup Viewing Blacked Out

Sam Dolnick has a very eye-opening piece about the City denying the 161st Street BID's attempt to broadcast this Saturday's World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana.

Just 48 hours before the match, the Street Activity Permit Office denied the permit for the event. The BID has held other events there and was expecting the usual rubber stamp treatment. In fact, organizers were so sure of the approval they spent $5K for projectors and port-o-potties. The event had also been widely publicized.

Because the 161st Street/Yankee Stadium area is one of the city's largest Ghanaian communities, the expected attendance was just too large for the City. The crowds would supposedly create a security threat. Alternate sites, like Joyce Kilmer Park were also denied.

I can't help but wonder if this decision is based on the borough in which the viewing is taking place and the continent from which the American team's opponent hails. If the U.S were playing Greece, would a viewing in Astoria be canceled?



Anonymous said...

VERY GOOD QUESTION. I suspect not!

Jack said...

Absurd. A neighborhood which would with no notice handle a massive influx of drunken baseball fans (say a postponed Yankees game) cannot handle a few hundred soccer fans?
I wonder if a private landowner in the neighborhood would step up? I'm thinking Concourse Plaza with that big parking lot. They close down the upper level all the time -- why not move the screen to one corner of it and set up the chairs and equipment. I don't think the city could stop them.

dotOrg-athon said...

There is blatant discrimination against the residents of the Bronx and the Bronx as a borough that is part of NYC and deserving of the same public resources as other boroughs. I had the exact same problem last fall with holding a nonprofit event in the borough where, somehow, the fact that the Yankees might be in the playoffs (and not even playing the day of the event) meant that no other event could take place anywhere in the borough. Somehow, Queens is able to manage Citifield and the Open, and various events throughout the borough, but the Bronx is only able to have the prospect of a Yankees game before all resources are tapped out. It's ridiculous.

Here's the blog post regarding the issue and the letter I wrote to the Mayor's office:

Roadtripper Indio said...

Might it have something to do with the CBS Radio Expo event at the Stadium from 9am-5pm? Check out:

Still begs the question why not allow a viewing.