Football lovers will enjoy playing on Central Park's large and grassy North Meadow, the only field in the park where football is permitted. Football can be played in the park from September to November. There are a couple of rules: Players cannot wear cleats, and flag football and touch football are the only types of football allowed in the park; tackle football is not permitted.
Any small group can use available space on the North Meadow to arrange a football game. However, large groups, leagues, or people who want to play at a regularly scheduled time need to apply for a ballfield permit from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. You can apply online or by mail. For more information please visit the Parks Department's official website or call the Manhattan office at (212) 408-0234. The application must include a copy of the team or league's bylaws as well as whether or not spectators and vendors are anticipated. If you are visiting Central Park and wish to play a game with friends, you don't need a permit. You may also wish to contact a local football group and find out when they play.
If you expect to play football in Central Park, plan to bring a football, either foam or inflatable, as well as rubber-soled shoes. If you don't have football equipment, you can borrow a field day kit from the North Meadow Recreation Center; you only need to show a picture ID.
- Sports Permits - Parks Department Sports Permits