Madison Set to Open its First Futsal Mini-Pitch at Penn Park on Thursday


The City of Madison Parks Division, in partnership with Madison Parks Foundation and Forward Madison FC are excited to announce the first futsal mini-pitch court opening in Penn Park. The community is invited to join City leaders, partners and friends as we officially open the courts with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4pm on Thursday, April 11, 2024. Forward Madison FC will have players at the event for autographs and a kick-around play session.

The original basketball and tennis located in the southwest corner of Penn Park, received numerous rounds of pavement repairs since their 1969 installation. In 2023 they were demolished due to their poor condition. In its footprint are two new full-size basketball courts and a futsal mini-pitch.

Futsal is a soccer-based game played typically with 5 players per team on a small hard court with a low-bounce ball. This mini-pitch is the first futsal court in the Madison park system. Forward Madison FC is leading a fundraising partnership with the Madison Parks Foundation to bring additional mini-pitches to local Madison parks in the coming years.

“We are committed to creating safe, accessible places for our communities to play soccer,” said Forward Madison FC Chief Operating Officer, Conor Caloia. “We have a longstanding positive relationship with the City of Madison Parks Division through our use at Breese Stevens Field and we are excited to expand this partnership. We appreciate the Madison Parks Foundation for their help with this project matching up to $15,000 in donations.”

“This is an example of how partnerships with both the private and non-profit sectors are critical to the future of developing innovative and thriving public parks.” shared Eric Knepp, Madison Parks Superintendent. “Our collaboration with Forward Madison FC and the Madison Parks Foundation is creating a series of new recreational opportunities for all across the Parks system, starting on the Southside.”

Other features of the court area include new seating, fencing and lighting. A $10,000 grant was received from The Soccer Fund from the Musco Corporation for the mini-pitch enclosure. Later this year, as the weather turns warmer, the asphalt courts will be painted with an acrylic surface which provides a smooth, even surface with excellent traction. The court colors were selected with input gathered from the neighborhood during the engagement process which included a virtual meeting and two drop-in sessions at Goodman South Library. Bleacher seating will also be added after the surfacing is installed. See court renderings for more information.

In addition to the new courts, other improvements since 2018, include renovation of the 4,000 square foot park shelter, a newly constructed restroom/concession building, a new playground and a gaga ball pit.

On Thursday, April 11 friends and neighbors are invited to join community members and leaders, as well as members of the Forward Madison FC team, for a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting, at this rain-or-shine event at 4:00pm at Penn Park, 2101 Fisher Street. 


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