On September 10th 2013, a large group of Teaneck residents witnessed a historic event. On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers, the town broke ground on the future home of Teaneck Athletics. Township Manager William Broughton proudly reminded all assembled that “the township of Teaneck produces elite athletes and will now have a world class facility.”
Councilman Adam Gussen received a loud ovation when he announced that the project will cost the Teaneck taxpayers nothing extra. Gussen has been the Council’s point man on this and many other parks department improvements. Gussen told the JLBC that the funding came largely from the New Jersey Garden State Preservation and Trust Act. In 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman set a state goal of adding a million acres of open space. The following year Governor Whitman signed the Garden State Preservation Act into law, providing municipalities with an option to collect funding for open space and farmland preservation. In 2004, 2008 and 2012 the voters of Teaneck approved the referendum. The proceeds from this fund, a New Jersey Green Acres Grant, combined with a diligent effort by Gussen, have given the township enough money to fund the project.
The overflowing crowd included representatives from the local youth sports organizations and former New York Giant Howard Cross. Yitzi Flyn (Director of Teaneck Soccer U12C) told the JLBC, “I am really excited that the residents of Teaneck, especially the children, will finally have a quality, safe and enjoyable venue to enjoy as they play their various recreational sports.”
The complex should be completed and ready for use in the spring of 2014. The Sportsplex will have a regulation size soccer and football field along with junior-sized soccer fields.