As votes for opposing Propositions H an I were still being counted Wednesday, construction workers lost no time breaking ground on renovations to Golden Gate Parks’ Beach Chalet soccer fields, as SFGate reports.
They're digging a slightly premature grave for Prop H (Team Grass!), which looks to have been bested by Prop I (Team Turf!). The permits for the renovations of the reportedly divot-ridden fields were acquired six months ago, with work likely to last a year.
Both sides have cried foul in recent months: While proponents of the renovations cite that the addition of lights and turf will provide nearly 10,000 more hours of play for San Francisco athletes, naturalists fear toxicity in turf seeping into the ground, and disrupted bird migration.
It's possible that the latter group won’t give up so easily, even after what looks like a clear defeat at the polls.
But with turf a fertile metaphor in San Francisco, it’s possible that calls for more playing time and access to public spaces influenced the vote to renovate. The inescapably viral video of an altercation over a Mission Playground soccer field — though widely interpreted as a showdown between tech t-shirt wearers and locals — perhaps has San Franciscans looking to increase public spaces and access to them. Already as a result of protests subsequent to the video's circulation, the Parks Department is no longer taking field reservations at Mission Playground.
San Francisco has 22 full-size soccer fields, half grass and half turf (the latter are more widely used), as well as seven half fields, like the turf one at Mission Playground, which was renovated in 2012 at an expense of $7.5 million. As we keep tallying absentee ballots, perhaps it's time for Chiu and Campos to get out there and settle the score, or at least try to take credit for the new fields on the way.