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Bob Townley has been the biggest critic of the Asphalt Green community center. His talking points have focused on the fact the Asphalt Green in BPC does not provide discounted or free memberships as does the Upper East side Asphalt Green. When protesting the planned closure of the Stuyvesant community center, the main argument he used was that it was the only “affordable” community center.
Bob Townley’s Tribeca community center, Manhattan Youth, which enjoys free use of the ballfields in BPC, paid for by the BPCA, is running a flag football course. The fee is not cheap. They are charging $150 per person. For Manhattan Youth members, it is free.
It seem strange that “Mr. Affordable” Bob Townley is charging anything at all for a flag football program since the field use is not costing him anything, and his main criticism of Asphalt Green is the cost. Are staff costs the reason he is charging a big fee? Who will be coaching the flag football? Will it be volunteer parents or high school kids?
When BatteryPark.TV called Manhattan Youth at 10:55 AM today, no one was in the facility who knew the details of the flag football program. No supervisor was available to pick up the phone. The staff said, “If you give me your number, I can have Alex call you.”. (A common complaint from parents about Manhattan Youth is that staff do not return calls and are not available to speak live.)
The Manhattan Youth business model is to use free facilities for programs, then charge $150 fees to parents. Mr. Townley also uses the PS 276 gyms for hockey classes, and the PS 397 (Spruce Street) school for other sports classes, then charges $150 for the classes.
During the CB1 meetings in November that discussed the planned closure of the Stuyvesant community center, Mr. Townley wanted the resolution to allow his Manhattan Youth to have access to the gym. How “affordable” would his programs be if he were allowed access?