The Predicament of the Polo Fields
photo from the polo club website
By Avery Naughton
Nestled between the winding paths of Rancho Santa Fe and the marshy lands connecting to the ocean, the San Diego polo fields have been a part of our city since 1906 and have retained their current location since 1986. Noted for their regular polo matches and sporting events such as soccer tournaments, the fields are popular with nearly all San Diegans.
Although going to the San Diego Polo fields may not be a daily activity of every Canyon Crest high school student, everybody knows what their basic purposes are: to allow citizens of San Diego to ride a horse in a game of polo, kick the soccer ball around, tackle someone in rugby, or pass a lacrosse ball from time to time.
However, not everyone knows about the 25-year lease that expired in March 2012 between the Polo Club and the city of San Diego. Nearly a year later, an outcome has still not been reached. The city insists that this lease will not be renewed until competitive bidding is settled. The slight catch? This bidding hasn’t even started.
According to the U- T San Diego newspapers interview with Goldstone, the chief operating officer of San Diego, the city is not sure of which direction to take the polo fields on. Are they better as exclusively a polo field or a sports facility?
According to the article, Goldstone asserts that “circumstances change over time, and if we had just given them, let’s say, another 25-year lease, how much of that would be in the best interest of the city?” He’s right of course, the future is unknown. In 25 years Carmel Valley might have outrageous congestion up to Los Angeles from One Paseo, or maybe we’ll have flying cars and a Canyon Crest Academy football team.
But obviously, this is not the future. The present dilemma puts a strain on organizations that hope to make a profit off of the polo fields, such as the San Diego Polo Club and the Surf Soccer Club. If there’s no definite lease that directly states who has rights to the use of the polo fields, these organizations risk losing not only their land but their profits as well.
This predicament has gone unchecked for far too long. The polo fields are a part of the history of San Diego and deserve to be preserved, regardless of the commitment-phobic city officials.