Photos: Renovated soccer fields at Beach Chalet set to re-open December 12

Looking north at pitch 3 & 4

Looking north at pitch 3 & 4

We received word last week that the newly renovated soccer fields at Beach Chalet will officially open to the public on Saturday, December 12. A grand opening celebration will take place from 1pm to 4pm.

The fields have been closed since November 2014 when construction began on the project shortly after a ballot initiative blocking the project was defeated.

The newly renovated fields include 4 astroturf fields, lighting, spectator seating, renovated restrooms, fencing around the fields, a small playground, and a newly paved parking lot.

The renovations will bring all four fields into use year-round and provide expanded hours into the early evening. Before the renovations, the fields could host 4,738 hours of annual play. The new fields will add 9,582 hours of play each year for both soccer and lacrosse players.

The Beach Chalet soccer field renovations were funded by a public/private partnership between San Francisco Rec & Park and The City Fields Foundation. The Beach Chalet project will mark the eighth park in which the two organizations have teamed up to renovate fields across San Francisco.

Come out on December 12 to check out the new fields and celebrate their opening!

Sarah B.

The view from the center spectator area between the two field areas

The view from the center spectator area between the two field areas

The renovated restrooms with seating in front

The renovated restrooms with seating in front

Seating in front of the restrooms that overlooks the fields

Seating in front of the restrooms that overlooks the fields

Looking south over pitches 1 & 2

Looking south over pitch 1 & 2

The small playground area near the restrooms

The small playground area near the restrooms




  1. My only complaint is that we never had space-age playground equipment like that when I was a kid in the 70s! I’d have been all over that set — I’m jealous! 🙂

  2. Yay, toxic turf opens just in time for a good el niño leeching into our local (recently retapped & mixed with hetch hetchy) groundwater and to the ocean.
    Certainly the children at play wont be bothered, but rather delighted by all those pesky migratory birds, insects and bats attracted to the lights (think Canada Geese pooping all over the field just like the polo fields) or rampant GG Park car burglars stealing less than $950 worth of property attracted to the new parking lot full of guaranteed empty soccer mom cars.
    Last, thanks for increasing the ambient light pollution on the westside— pro light jerk voters. Hope your kids don’t choke on the carcinogous crushed petroleum based synthetic crumbled rubber you voted for.

  3. The nimby crowd should take a deep collective breath, look up at the sky and see that it is, in fact, not falling. They will survive it and they might even get over it.

  4. Cynic Al. You and the others lost. We live in a city of every increasing size and need the fields. We don’t live in a pastoral environment. If you don’t want less light pollution then move to the country. So looking forward to these fields opening.

  5. Good. Such an unnecessarily long and protracted debate about this field. Seriously. Its soccer fields in a city park. Nobody living in a major metropolitan area gets to seriously object to projects due to light pollution unless its a neon sign outside your window. Hope it is well used and well patrolled so that it stays clean and welcoming.

  6. I’m not looking forward to the lights or the AstroTurf runoff 🙁

  7. Count me in on the not-happy list. My daughter gave up on soccer rather than continue playing on these plastic fields. They are so toxic, she could barely breathe for half a day after a game or practice on them, and the plastic dust wouldn’t wash off. Give it s few years, and we’ll be seeing goalies with mouth and skin cancers.

  8. Just another step in the trashing of San Francisco. Big development is ruining downtown with massive projects. The Beach Chalet synthetic soccer fields and night lights is the opening salvo in the urbanization of the West side of town.

  9. 1. Artificial turf is composed of ground up tires. A single artificial turf soccer field has 25,000 ground up tires — a total of 400,000 pounds — meaning that these fields now contain 1,600,000 pounds of toxic material. The material is so toxic that it cannot be disposed of in conventional landfills.
    2. For young athletes, there has been a demonstrated correlation between playing on artificial turf and contracting cancer. On the national and virtually all state levels, the artificial turf companies have lobbied to spike efforts to study the correlation. Only now is it just starting to be studied in California.
    2. There is a plan to draw water from beneath the west end of Golden Gate Park, including from under the artificial turf fields. There has been no study of the health implications of drinking water filtered through a leach-field composed of hundreds of thousands of pounds of finely-ground toxic tires. Yum.

  10. I don’t know if the artificial fields will be a health risk or not. There are competing studies on the issue.

    I do know this. We know that a grass lawn will not give you cancer and the long term answer on the artificial stuff is still out.

    The sad thing is that this is one of the most expensive cities in the world. The people who live and own homes here have more money than most. There is no reason why we cannot have a perfect grass playing surface out there. Would it cost more in labor and water? Yes. The only reason we did not go that route is that people in this town are cheep. That says a lot when the average home goes for $1M. Shame on you all.

  11. @JD
    I appreciate your assumed premise — that grass fields are more expensive — but the reality is that it is the other way around. Artificial turf costs vastly more. It is tremendously more expensive to install (about $6,000,000), modestly cheaper to maintain, and then needs to be replaced every 8 years at a cost of $2,000,000. So, yeah… fiscally, terrible deal as well.

    Look, a lot of this has already been well hashed-out. Without details, here are summaries of the additional artificial turf issues:
    1. Way more injuries and infections.
    2. Lousy play.
    3. Does NOT yield substantially more playing time for kids — by Rec and Park’s own reckoning, it is (if I recall correctly) going to provide 8% more playing time for kids’ soccer.

    The whole issue is about one thing and one thing only: the turf and lighting will allow night-time play by adult leagues — and they will be paying money to Rec and Park (in the tens of thousands of dollars annually). For that benefit (?), we will be putting up with tons and tons of toxic material, disturbing night lighting, and lots of young adults in the west end of the park at night.
    Just fantastic.

  12. And in case this looks funny on the money thing, let me explain how that works: your bond money (and Citifields grant money — which may or may not be self-interested money, I don’t recall seeing anything conclusive on that) has paid for the installation, and it is unclear who pays for the replacement cost, but in the meantime Rec and Park gets the league fees. Such a deal.

  13. Pele – this is the WORST news I have read in my 60 years of living in the City.

  14. Pele & Richmondman, Do recall that when Willie Brown was Mayor, he was a proponent of huge buildings lining Golden Gate Park just as Central Park in NYC is bordered. As population densities and construction of “affordable” housing are now governed by the un-elected comprising ABAG to follow state law, with San Francisco to house the bulk for the ever-growing collection of counties comprising “Bay Area”. Most of our neighboring counties have balked while SF needs the massively inflated property tax revenue (single largest source of revenue for City Hall) to continue growing its out-of-control budget (doubled in less than 15 years). It’s not the tech boom that’s growing population, most of the new people on my block over the past decade work for UCSF, and they’re not nurses or technicians.

  15. Taxpayers bond funded the toxic waste tire infill to the tune of $250,000. By the time the interest gets paid on that number, new sod could have been put down 3 or 4 times for the same price.

    Heavy price to pay so that Wreckin’ Park can continue functioning as a preferred trading place for political favors. Unlimited lobbying activities “for the kids” so that Coastal Development gets done. How many density oriented projects will the Fisher Family and their born into the 1% pals build? How many inside deals got done for “soccer”?

    Pro-tip. It’s not for kids. There’s a Palace for sale too.


  16. The US Congress is now demanding that the EPA run proper studies on crumb rubber tire infill health risks. California is spending $3M to do the same. Understanding that this stuff is a big risk to kids is not rocket science. Ground used tires are 50% carbon black, a Prop. 65 human carcinogen.
    Every parent knows kids inhale these “little black dots” and get them in their mouths. Unless you would sprinkle this stuff on your kids’ cereal every morning, you should’t let them play on these fields. Notice the tire crumb installers wore hazmat suits and respirators.
    Almost 200 players are sell-reporting cancer victims, half of them goalies, who get the lions share of exposure. So if you want to celebrate SF kids on cemo or dead, be sure to go out there with the crowds on the 12th and whoop it up.
    I was stupid enough to believe my government wouldn’t poison my child. I’m now checking my girl’s blood work every six months so if she’s one of the unlucky ones, we can get her on chemo quick. She might even survive. Thank you, Fisher Brothers. It’s not “Let Kids Play”, more like “Let Kids Die”.

  17. The crumb rubber issue seems serious enough that it surprises me they went forward with the field this way. That NBC national news report came out at the same time the field was being approved.

    JD has made the point that is most important in my mind. Yes, anyone who grew up in SF knows the soccer fields are hard to play on, due to sandy soil and gophers. But no, it would not have been impossible to just actually do good upkeep of the grass fields. Yes, it would be expensive, but if there’s one thing SF has more of these days, it’s money. We could divert .5% of the city’s annual $200M homelessness budget and have this field maintained, with some to spare for Marx Meadow, say. It’s frustrating that we don’t maintain our parks.

  18. the astroturf is not toxic . the amount of toxina are nil and have no imopact on human health. there are ot of primadonna on here. the new fields are for the common good of the sane 99%

  19. I am not a gluten-free, EMF radiation-fearing, anti-vaxxer, and my family are M.D.s, but I hope this was given scrutiny.

  20. I’m not a fan of artificial turf, but to me, the big issue is the question of the park’s purpose. The park was originally created to provide a respite from the urban environment, and nature was supposed to take center stage. The park’s Master Plan states “Over the years, facilities have been added to the western park, but the character of the landscape has remained as more wooded, less refined parkland. This distinction should be maintained, with different landscape treatments for the eastern and western portions.” The Western side of the park was supposed to remain largely undeveloped, with acres of trees, meadows, and trails. These soccer fields, with the large adjacent parking lot, bright lights, synthetic grass, and concrete structures diminish the beauty of the park and undermine its original purpose.

  21. At last a field where a player no longer has to risk a sprained ankle or worse when participating on a field pocked with gopher holes and often damp and slippery.

  22. Robin – if that is the case (the western part of the park remaining undeveloped, then why have the Soccer Fields been there for at least 6 decades before this? I am no fan of artificial turf, but I am also no fan of lousy, gopher-hole, unmaintained playing fields that can’t be used, and are not kept up. The city forced this issue by having poor supevisors who never funded maintenance of the park. they were lured by the promise of reduced Maintenance Costs, which they diverted to other uses.

  23. 4 soccer pitches built in 1930. 4 soccer pitches in 2016. But THREE TIMES the playing capacity, with zero watering. Would the ear-plugged screechers prefer building 8 more grass fields to meet the demand? Please help identify the trees and meadows in GG Park that should first be bulldozed for that endeavor…. I thought not. ABSOLUTELY ZERO opposition to the THIRTY synthetic fields built for SF parks, high schools, and colleges in the last decade or so. West Sunset was the screecher’s enthusiastically recommended alternative site. Cancer? What cancer? Absolutely ZERO cancer – if you move the project to West Sunset!! What a sad, disgusting bunch of nimby hypocrites. Who lie and spew scary non-facts and speculation about children getting cancer to make their point. But – I tip my hat on the 2+ year delay – quite the achievement in the annals of civic activism. In their honor, and with every goal my daughters’ teams and their opponents score at Beach Chalet this winter, I’ll smile and say, “Take THAT, nimby!!”
    The project is a fantastic success, and a brilliant solve for a desperate situation at that facility and across the city. Thank You to the folks who saw it through.

  24. Sadly, there has already been a death on my neighborhood fields, South Sunset Playground. A brain cancer in a 9 year old who played almost every day on those fields and those at his school. And 2 more brain cancers at Drake in Marin with the same industrial waste based fields. These are very rare cancers in children, and I found these just because they happened to be reported in the press. Since no systematic retrospective study has been done, there may be many more than the 200 self reported cases, such as these 3. And these are the early cases-over time the cancer cases are likely to mushroom. And a mere twisted ankle will be the dream of parents with children suffering and dying of cancer.

  25. Bob, the state of the soccer field was a “desperate situation” for you and your kids? There are oh so many desperate situations for people on this earth, but a damn soccer field ain’t one of them (regardless of what your position was on this construction). Please put a lid on the hyperbole and get some perspective.

  26. RichmondMan: I hear you, but a patch of grass (which should have been maintained better, yes) is a far cry, development-wise, from a huge stadium with bright lights, a paved spectator area, artificial turf and large parking lot.

  27. Concerned Mom, how incredibly irresponsible to connect tragic child deaths with synthetic turf, and then offhandedly admit that there isn’t a shred of science behind your rantings. A very low and nasty business the opponents to this project are stooping to.
    Renee, I’ll admit that your abandonment of all perspective regarding the obvious and specific context of my comments made me chuckle. Kudos on the nice try.

  28. I noticed the lights on last evening. They did a good job of hooding and directing the lamps. I was expecting the light pollution to be much worse. I live a couple blocks away and I’m fan of the new fields and looking forward to taking my kid there. I wish my knees were good enough to still play soccer; the fields look great!

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