The north side of MacArthur Park is a makeshift soccer dust bowl, and in nine months, it will transform into a 37,000-square-foot area with a synthetic field and make the highly used space a safer place for children to play. All that and more will be coming in nine months, thanks to the MacArthur Park Synthetic Field and Meadow.
The park's field with the not very sexy name will cost $1.12 million, covered mostly by Proposition K funds, and is part of District One Councilmember Ed Reyes' effort to find, add, provide and enhance green space.
According to the LAPD Captain John Egan, who was on the scene, the park was crime ridden with stats peaking in the late '90s. Police say the park's transformation comes from a number of factors: the LAPD gang injunction, more families moving in the area (hence more eyes), the growth of Korean Town moving toward the park, and the Red Line.
The groundbreaking must have been important, because the A-list politicians at the press event included U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, 31st Congressional District, and Assemblyman Fabian Núñez, 46th Assembly District, who joined Councilmember Ed Reyes in the time honored shovel-dirt ceremony.
It’s taking a while, but with this project, the restored band shell, and a lot of soccer players ripping up the grass; the park are steps closer to being an full scale recreational facility.