August 7, 2023
Honorable Meera Joshi
Deputy Mayor of the City of New York
New York City Hall
New York, New York
Dear Deputy Mayor Joshi,
New Yorkers for Parks and the 23 organizations co-signing this letter appreciate Mayor Adams’ and the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) efforts to bring the 2024 T20 Cricket World Cup to New York City.
However, we strongly oppose the use of the Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground for this proposal. We stand with the local elected leaders, business and environmental groups, park stewards, schools, and cricket, baseball, soccer, and track organizations who have similarly voiced opposition.
A public park is not an appropriate site for a 20-acre stadium seating 34,000 people for a private, ticketed event. Closure of this space to the public for a minimum of 7 months is a misuse of public parkland, displacing thousands of park users and cutting off the valuable public recreational and cultural programming that regularly occur on this site.
We are further concerned about the negative impacts on Van Cortlandt Park and the surrounding area. The scale, construction, and extended duration of the proposal will result in significant damage to the Parade Ground (which was fully restored at great expense to the City within the last decade), making it impossible to fully restore to public use in a reasonable timeframe. It is likely that the project would cause damage to 30% of the Parade Ground, and could require up to 2 additional years to ameliorate, resulting in no public access during that time.
As concerning are the legal questions this proposal raises. The use of public parkland for a private, paid event of this scale and duration event sets a dangerous precedent. Legal hurdles associated with the proposal are outlined in detail in the attached memo from Christopher Rizzo, a land use attorney at Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP.
Beyond the negative impacts on the park, park users, and the community, there is not sufficient time for the City and ICC to transparently advance through the lengthy legal and approvals processes required for a proposal of this magnitude while soliciting and incorporating community feedback.
We strongly encourage the city and ICC to broaden its search for a more appropriate site. We are here to help in any capacity we can.
4410-4414 Cayuga Avenue Owners Corp.
Broadway Community Alliance
Bronx Coalition for Parks & Green Spaces
Bronx Council for Environmental Quality
Bronx Ruth Mullen Huddle
Enslaved People Project Steering Committee
Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association
Friends of Pelham Bay Park
Kingsbridge Historical Society
Loving the Bronx
Mexican-American Soccer League NY Inc
Municipal Art Society
New York Cricket League
New York Road Runners
Riverdale Main Streets Alliance
Riverdale Soccer Club
Special Citizens Futures Unlimited
Van Cortlandt Baseball League
Van Cortlandt House Museum
Van Cortlandt Nature Group
Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Van Cortlandt Track Club
Women of Woodlawn
City Council Eric Dinowitz, District 11
City Council Shekar Krishnan, District 25
City Council Speaker, Adrienne Adams, District 28
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander
Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue
State Assembly Jeff Dinowitz, District 81
State Assembly Member John Zaccaro, Jr, District 80
State Assembly Members J. Gary Pretlow, District 89
State Senate Gustavo Rivera, District 33
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate District 35
Congress Member Ritchie Torres, NY-15
US Senator Chuck Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Memorandum from Christopher Rizzo, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP