ROOFTOP LAUNCH: City and UAE Embassy open new field in NYC
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Published on Jun 13, 2012
Manchester City and UAE Embassy complete enclosed rooftop soccer field in Harlem
On the anniversary of the 2010 tour of the USA, City and the UAE Embassy have delivered on a special promise.
Two years ago, the Club, together with the Embassy, opened ground-breaking football pitch on top of the six-story Lexington Academy in east Harlem, New York.
There was, however, only one problem. Shielding the pitch was an old and dusty rooftop - weather beaten by years of harsh east coast winters.
It became clear that if the facility was to be enjoyed all year round, renovation of the roof was a necessary next step. The UAE and City agreed and plans for an enclosed roof were drawn up.
Building in New York City is tough at the best of times and constructing a first-of-its-kind rooftop for a public school, posed challenges that required every inch of commitment, patience and perseverance.
While this work was carried out, the football did not stop and in true City style, a pitch was built in the school's playground with City Soccer in the Community providing coaching every day of the school year, for the past two years.
The roof dream was finally realised and on June 6 during a fantastic opening ceremony, the facility was handed over to the kids of Public School 72 and their principal Tony Hernandez.
The event was attended by the UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Oitaba, Principal Hernandez, the Consul General from the British Consulate in New York, representatives from the NY Mayor's Office, City legend Paul Lake and everyone involved with City Soccer in the Community.
"To arrive outside the school in Spanish Harlem and to look up and see a blue roof, was just incredible, it was such a pleasurable experience," said Paul Lake.
"Not only do the kids get to play sport, but they get to interact with other children, to socialise and all of this will mean their self-confidence will grow."
You can check out the great video of the opening event and make sure you watch the Lexington School choir sing a fantastic version of Blue Moon.
A promise made and a promise kept by Sheik Mansour, the Embassy of the UAE, the players, management and fans of Manchester City football Club.
The sky blue dome stands tall over Manhattan and can be clearly seen if you are flying in from New York's La Guardia airport.
This is the third pitch City Soccer in the Community has built for disadvantaged kids in the USA, with Los Angeles and Miami now part of our family.
Next week we will announce our fourth and just to give you a clue, it's in a windy city!
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