$29M Memorial Field Plan Gains Approval In Westchester

After nearly a decade is disrepair, a Westchester icon is set to get a multi-million renovation that could see it open as soon as 2021.

A $29 million plan to restore Memorial Field in Mount Vernon has been approved by Westchester lawmakers.
A $29 million plan to restore Memorial Field in Mount Vernon has been approved by Westchester lawmakers. Photo Credit: City of Mount Vernon

Lawmakers in Westchester approved a $29 million renovation plan for Memorial Field in Mount Vernon after numerous previous proposals started and stalled due to political strife and a question of where funding would come from.

The Westchester Board of Legislators overwhelmingly approved the project with a 15-2 vote.

“It was important to ensure that while Mount Vernon is the jewel of Westchester, Memorial Field is the jewel of Mount Vernon,” Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said. “Some don’t realize it’s been closed for almost 10 years. It was once our local stadium, where we had our track, our football field, our tennis courts, and so many community events going on.”

Under the approved plan, the county will provide $20 million in funding, with the state adding an additional $5 million.

Patterson-Howard said that once completed, Memorial Field will include a football field, track, tennis courts, a new skatepark, soccer fields, grandstands with a capacity of approximately 4,000, brand new lights and a sound system.

“This was the gathering place and a place of communing for our community for a long time,” she said. “This is a place where many of us who graduated before 2010 graduated from. It’s a place we grew up having our recreation days and our family days and all of our big major community gatherings.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who was born and raised in Mount Vernon, called the timing of the approval “tragic,” as the county -- and the world -- is gripped by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) breakout.

“It is tragic that this joyous milestone has occurred during a dark period in our County’s history," Latimer said. "While we are all consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I hope the passage of the Memorial Field Plan will be a beacon of hope – a symbol of great things to come in this County.  

"We will complete this field, we will put people to work in solid paying union construction jobs, we will put money into the economy and one day, hopefully soon, we will all enjoy this field again.”

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