Utica, N.Y.— Utica mayor, Robert Palmieri and Rome mayor, Jackie Izzo announced that parks across the city would be reopening for sports and recreational activities this month.
“We feel at this point the numbers are coming down,” Palmieri said. “We’re going to be very mindful at this point it’s still through the guidelines, but we’re very optimistic at the point to start opening up the ball fields, the playgrounds the basketball hoops to give our youth our adults our grandparents a venue of enjoying the quality of life with your mask with all the requirements you need to social distance, but to go to the new normal of life where we are, and this is just the next step of where we need to be.”
Basketball and tennis courts opened today April 2 in both Utica and Rome. Both municipalities are looking at April 19 to open city parks to other sports including soccer, football, baseball and softball, but the date is subject to change based on the weather.
The City of Utica requires a permit to use a park or field for organized sports and residents can apply for a permit by calling 315-738- 1342 or by emailing Rebecca Duval at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“So if it’s going to be an organized group whether it is a little league, softball group, a basketball group then yes, as a group they would have to file a permit for the use of the field or the courts and then they would have to show that they’ve gone through the guidelines that is required by the state and that’s all you would have to do,” explained Palmieri.
The City of Rome does not require permits to utilize their parks or fields but they do recommend that you contact the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Activities for availability. The department can be reached at 315-339-7656.
Organizers of sports teams are required to submit health and safety plans for their teams and must contact the city before announcing any league activities. All organizers must also confirm they have read and will abide by the New York State Department of Health guidelines.
“You want people to go out and bask in the sun and the clean air,” Palmieri said. “But when they are doing that just be mindful that we still have a pandemic going on we certainly do not want to go in reverse and shut them down again.”