After Months of Construction, Brooklyn Tech Football Field Approaches Completion


Johnny Yang, Sports Editor

The Brooklyn Tech football team’s season came to a close last week, without a home field for a third straight year. Renovation of Tech’s new football field at 510 Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene is on track to be complete by 2022, ready for next year’s season.
In 2001, after the parents of football players bought the space for the original field and sold the land to the city for one dollar, they made an agreement with the city that the land would be for a new football field. Additionally, before construction could begin, the school needed to secure fundraising support for the field. In exchange for naming rights to the field, Charles B. Wang (1944-2018), Tech alumnus and former owner of the Islanders, donated $500,000 to build the field. The cost for the original construction of the field was 3.7 million dollars.
As the field has aged, after years of wear and tear, renovations to the field were needed. However, fundraising for the renovations have proved to be challenging, resulting in delays and complications. Ms. Sullivan, Assistant Principal Organization (CFO), noted that the team working on the field’s renovations “went back to the drawing board to take things out, to make adjustments…and while that went on the cost of labor started to rise.” To make matters worse, due to COVID, the project came to a standstill when the state suspended all funding. Ms. Sullivan also mentioned that in all, the renovations will come out to about 7.5-8 million dollars.
There was a five-year rolling plan for the renovation, which started with filing a request for the project. After that, meetings with a city contractor took two years to decide what improvements would be necessary. The process was slowed down by contract and union negotiations, and required permitting. In addition, unforeseen problems have beset the project. According to Ms. Sullivan, “The drainage system didn’t work…so our drainage system had to be replaced.” Then, more electricity was needed for the field, which led to the removal of the nearby Citi Bike rack, which took nearly three months to complete.
The renovations have taken longer than anyone could have imagined, partly because the school does not directly pay for the renovation process and must apply for funding. “The bottom line is we have to request projects to be done based on need,” Sullivan explained. “You then have to establish why you need a new field and another school doesn’t.” After making the request, the city must first approve it to seek the money from the state, “and then the state must give an amount of money to cover the cost,” Sullivan notes. These requirements have greatly prolonged the renovation process.
The new field will boast many upgrades. There was barely any seating in the old field. “In the end zone bleachers, you could only fit 100 people,” according to Ms. Sullivan. However, the seating has now been expanded to the sidelines of the field accommodating up to 900 spectators. Additionally, locker room trailers, a new scoreboard, restrooms, electricity, and water fountains were all added to create amore pleasant experience for players and fans alike.
The Engineers are thrilled about the new upgrades to their home field, as they can finally get a sense of how it feels to have a home field to play on. Defensive end, Louis Dietz ‘23 believes that “a real field comes with a sense of motivation…and a sense of responsibility and pressure to perform.” With this new football field, there will be higher expectations for the Engineers to win games and compete for the championship every year. Senior running back and cornerback Noah Sylvester ‘22 also believes that one of the best things about the new field is “having a home to defend,” so that the team has that extra motivation to succeed.
Principal Newman believes that the field can enhance social interaction for students as well, stating that “it would be a great way to culturally commonize events in place for the school to get together and build school spirit…coming out of COVID.” Events such as homecoming and pep rallies will be more enjoyable, with a great atmosphere for the Engineers. Moreover, the field is a great place “to be revolved around other like-minded people who have school spirit, and I think it will be a great thing for our community,” Principal Newman added.

With its expected completion in 2022, the new field will inspire Tech athletes to join the football, soccer, and lacrosse teams and help each team play to their full potential.