“Fenty Field” Being Removed from Harriet Tubman Soccer Field

by Prince Of Petworth — March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm 29 Comments

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“Dear PoPville,

Walking by the Tubman soccer field this morning [11th St, NW between Irving and Kenyon], I noticed that our tax dollars are being used to remove the large circle in the middle of the field that contained Mayor Fenty’s name. It will be interesting to see what replaces it – maybe Mayor Gray is trying to leave his mark while he can?”

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Here’s how it looked when first installed back in 2009:


  • Boris S. Wort

    Uncle Earl Field, no doubt.

  • Thunder

    We have around 1,500 homeless kids in this city, and this is how Gray spends the taxpayer dollars?

  • Identified

    It is for this reason that mayors names should not adorn anything. There is no need for such a thing and it is wasteful to then redo things when a different mayor comes in (every 4 years in the past 12).

    • Anonymous

      It’s also very third world. Do other US cities do this nonsense?

      • kyle-w

        Read an article about how much trouble Boston is in. They had Mayor Menino who was Mayor for 21 years. His name is apparently on EVERYTHING.

  • jcm

    Mayors should stop writing their name all over things, period. We don’t need the mayor’s name on the Welcome to DC signs, or soccer fields, or the trash cans, or anything else for that matter.

    • wdc

      Well, maybe just on the trash cans.

      • jcm

        LOL. I admit I felt a twinge of regret when my Sharon Pratt Kelly round can finally gave up the ghost. The end of an era. I’ve still got a Tony Williams. Maybe I should put it aside as a collector’s item.

  • that’s it

    ok, not voting for Gray.

  • Anonymous

    This is really, really dumb. They are wasting TONS of money on something that is not only completely superfluous, but few people would actually see it / notice the difference. Soccer players couldn’t care less about the signage on the field – they’re there to play. There aren’t any high-rise buildings around there for people to notice from afar. What the hell Gray?

  • CCDD
  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Waste of tax dollars

  • StatingTheObvious

    I love how PopCommenters have no idea what’s happening or why, but are glad to jump to conclusions instead.

    • CCDD

      I’m sure some of us (myself included) have written and called and received no answers thus far. If we do get a response, we’ll post it here.

      • CCDD

        I guess that is the response below from James. I almost wish we had no response after reading it.

  • Anonymous

    Fenty is dating Steve Jobs widow–like he gives a crap about DC any more.

  • DGS wanted to let you know that we are replacing the Tubman Center Circle as part of an effort to make Tubman field regulation. The prior Center Circle was not regulation. The new Center Circle will not have any mayor’s name, but we are considering placing the name of the DC Government agency that manages each field in the Center Circle, so as to assist residents when attempting to utilize a field for an event.

    • PopsIdol

      Mr. Partlow,

      Since you are now representing DC Department of General Services, I assume you can answer the following questions. If you can’t, please let us know who can.

      1) What field regulations are being remedied by this project? This is an elementary school – was this perfectly adequate soccer field (much better than any field I’ve seen at any public elementary school in DC, truly not meeting the needs of our little soccer adolescents? Were games being called off because the center of the field was truly not regulation? Did someone trip over the “M” in “Mayor” causing serious injury?

      2) Were the fields around the city, needing serious repairs, truly not cause enough to spend our tax dollars that a perfectly good field (5 years old, artificial turf fit for an NFL stadium) needed repair for regulation?

      3) You mention “considering placing the name of the DC Government agency that manages each field in the Center Circle, so as to assist residents when attempting to utilize a field for event” — this begs several questions:

      a) would a sign not suffice? A simple placard placed along the fence indicating that a resident could call a phone number or perhaps email a DC government office to inquire about the field’s utilization? I know it could get confusing – I perhaps may have tried contacting former Mayor Fenty, asking if I could use his field which in turn could create confusion so perhaps replacing the entire center of the field with say a phone number would make more sense – but I’m a mere resident – not a public employee who is smarter and wiser.

      b) what is more frightening – you mention that this is a consideration – so it begs the next question – is the replacement of the center of the field possibly temporary? Could the new center of the field being replaced be torn up once again – doubling the cost of this project – once a decision has been made about what exactly to put on the center of the field?

      c) even worse – is the field going to remain unusable until our esteemed government officials decide on b?

      Forgive me if I have doubts about all of this – but when your twitter account has a picture of Kevin Spacey from House of Cards with the title “Democracy is overrated” and upside down flag, I’m going to be suspicious.

      • Anonymous

        Whoa, breathe – just a minor waste of money.

      • Anonymous

        Kind of surprised that ole Jimmy Partlow didn’t add a #hastag to every other #word in his #response. He #loves using #socialmedia to #communicate with #people.

      • Peter Russo

        Whoa, everyone knows how smart you are! This is a drop in the bucket for DC Gov., never a need to get so worked up over this small of issue. DC Gov. had been painting over the Fenty wording for years now, so at least this way they don’t have to keep replacing temporary paint. Think of it as paying off in the long term!

        • CCDD

          The reason people should care: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/02/25/winners-and-losers-in-d-c-school-renovation-funding-shift/

          Whether or not people do that’s a different question.

          D.C. DGS decides to waste money on these 3 fields (yes there are 2 others they are currently doing this on) and I can guarantee you it’s not peanuts in terms of cost. Man hours, materials, etc. These are large plots of lands including the fact that artificial turf is not cheap.

          Meanwhile, look at some of the cuts that schools suffered on the link above – $10,000, $6,000, That is meaningful money for schools desperate for it – yet the head of DGS Hanlon makes it seem ok by saying “”We didn’t have to go find additional money for this,” he said.”

          I’m sure the modernization cuts and the DGS budgets don’t coincide and this is probably just a case of DGS wanting to spend their budget so they don’t lose it next fiscal year – but it doesn’t make it right. And it shouldn’t sit well with people just because it’s not millions of dollars in waste. Slippery slope.

          Debonis article on it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2014/03/13/adrian-fentys-name-is-being-erased-from-d-c-athletic-fields/

    • Contrarian

      I’ve played and reffed many games at Tubman and this statement is preposterous on its face. The center circle was the only thing about that field that was regulation — it was 20 yards in diameter. You can clearly see this if you look at Google Earth. (You can also see where they painted over Fenty’s name in 2012, I guess the paint didn’t take.)

      Tubman is 40 yards wide and 90 yards long. It doesn’t even look like a soccer field, it’s way too skinny for the length.

      A 40 yard wide field would be used by 4th graders in recreational youth soccer. (For selective or “travel” soccer it would be too small even for 3rd graders). But 4th graders would use a length of 60 yards, smaller goals and an 8-yard center circle*. I doubt DGS is changing all of the field markings to make a regulation 4th grade field.

      This is what FIFA’s Laws of the Game say about field dimensions:

      The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.

      Length (touch line):
      * minimum 90 m (100 yds)
      * maximum 120 m (130 yds)

      Width (goal line):
      * minimum 45 m (50 yds)
      * maximum 90 m (100 yds)

      All lines must be of the same width, which must be not more than 12 cm (5 ins).
      International matches
      minimum 100 m (110 yds)
      maximum 110 m (120 yds)

      minimum 64 m (70 yds)
      maximum 75 m (80 yds)

      * If you look carefully at the Google Earth photo you can see the field being used for 4th grade soccer with portable goals and cones to mark the penalty area.

    • Contrarian

      Considering that DGS has only existed since October 2011 it seems unwise to go weaving their name into the center circle of fields. Fields last 10-12 years, who knows how things will be organized when the field wears out. I agree that a sign on the fence with contact information for access would be better.

      Or better yet: a single phone number for all city-owned fields. Why should a citizen have to know or care where a field falls in the bureaucracy?

    • Contrarian

      Having reffed and played many games at Tubman I can say the only thing that is regulation about the field and markings at Tubman is the center circle. Look at Google Earth, it’s exactly 20 yards in diameter, what the Laws of the Game require for soccer.

      The rest of the dimensions are whacked, it’s 40 yards wide and 90 yards long, it doesn’t even look like a soccer field.

  • tomfiatlux

    This activity makes Mayor Gray look stupid. But really, that’s the least of his problems right now. Maybe they should adorn the field with his name before he’s gone…

    • CCDD

      Gray’s spokesperson said ““We don’t give a damn what’s on the middle of the field,”

      Instead of saying maybe…”We can’t believe this waste of government funds when we have schools in real need. We should have spent the money more wisely and helped those who really needed it.”

  • David J.

    Don’t worry, there will be a new name on that field come next year….Muriel


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