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Mission Playground's Soccer Field Surface Change Raises Concern

[mission playground via potential past]

The soccer field at Mission Playground isn't known for its aesthetics, it's known as the spot where the epic soccer games go down. For at least two decades, soccer enthusiasts, most of them Mission district residents from Central America, have gathered there from 6:30p.m. to when the lights go out to play pickup soccer games. That could soon change, as the park closes today for a $7.5 million makeover. The soccer field's asphalt surface will be replaced with synthetic grass. The players are looking forward to the new turf, but worry that they'll lose the only place in the city where they don't have to worry about obtaining a permit to play. They don't want to get kicked out by an organized group who has a permit, who will now see the field as more desirable because of the synthetic grass. The group knows they'll have to share their space with the groups the renovated field will attract, but the field will still have more open hours than other fields in the city, said Dana Ketcham, manager of permits and reservations for the Recreation and Park Department. "We recognize the historical use," she said, "had we didn't want to take that away from the community."
· Mission Playground soccer field to get makeover [SF Gate]