A video came in to our tip line that records a lengthy back-and-forth two weeks ago between some twentysomething white guys who had paid Rec & Parks for a one-hour reservation at the soccer field at Mission Playground, and a group of neighborhood kids and young adults who were arguing that there was no such tradition of reserving this field. The older guys who arrived first for the reservation and tried to kick everyone off the field didn't have a permit to show at first the guy with the print-out shows up a little later but the argument ensues over the principle of the thing.
There is an overarching gentrification theme to the video, of course and the descriptive text from the uploader frames it that way, placing the blame squarely on Rec & Parks and the private City Fields Foundation, who "without community approval... decided to issue costly permits to a small traditional pick-up soccer field." Also, one of the guys with the permit admits he's only lived in the city for "over a year."
The guys who paid their $27 to Rec & Parks just want to play their game, which they believed to be their right by virtue of the permit and reservation. But the guys who've spent years using that field for pick-up games in which teams of seven play each other and others wait their turn to join argue that these new interlopers with, presumably, a lot of money, can't just walk in and change the longstanding rules of this neighborhood field. As you can hear in the video, the guy holding the permit is pretty exasperated by having to argue, and the fact that someone was filming him he says is "awkward and weird. Disastrously weird."
A Rec & Parks employee contacted by SFist assured us that the community had been involved in the process when decisions were being made surrounding Mission Playground's 2012 renovation. Though the soccer field is open most of the time for anyone who wants to play, there is now reserved/permitted game play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and after this video appeared (and after one of the guys in it called to complain) Rec & Parks began dispatching representatives to Mission Playground on those evenings in order to enforce this relatively new rule.
The rep did not specify how many complaints the department may have gotten about reservations at this field, but she suggested there had been some "relatively recent" problems like the one shown in the video with neighborhood kids not understanding the rules about Tuesdays and Thursdays. She also suggested, "Before the field was renovated it was less in demand," and no one ever tried to reserve it. (Mission Local picked up the story about the reservation and "pay to play" tensions back in 2012, however.)
We can not confirm, as the tipster suggests, that the guys in the video are "tech a--holes," however we can confirm that Rec & Parks now has an app for making reservations.
Update: Valleywag notes that some of the guys who had the field reserved were wearing Dropbox jerseys.