The National Football League Grassroots Program is supporting the development and renovation of community fields with 15 new grants totaling $2.5 million being directed to schools, parks and facilities across the country, it was announced today.
A partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the NFL Grassroots Program has awarded more than $32.5 million in grants over 14 years to local nonprofits focused on the health and welfare of their communities, especially the children in their neighborhoods. The latest round of grants supports new and upgraded fields in the following NFL markets:
|Team Affilation||Field Location|
|Atlanta Falcons||Atlanta, GA; Park Pride|
|Carolina Panthers||Spartanburg, SC; Spartanburg County School District #7|
|Chicago Bears||Chicago, IL; Take the Field initiative|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Alexandria, KY; Campbell County School District|
|Cleveland Browns||Grafton, OH; Midview Local School District|
|Denver Broncos||Pueblo, CO; Pueblo City Schools Education Foundation|
|Detroit Lions||Detroit, MI; Detroit Edison Public School Academy|
|Green Bay Packers||West Allis, WI; West Allis-West Milwaukee School District|
|New Orleans Saints||New Orleans, LA; Bayou District Foundation|
|New York Giants||Newark, NJ: Ironbound Community Corporation|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Philadelphia, PA; Philadelphia Recreation Advisory Council|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Penn Hills, PA; Penn Hills High School|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Clearwater, FL; Clearwater for Youth, Inc.|
|Tennessee Titans||Madison, TN; Project Reflect, Inc.|
|Washington Redskins||Washington, DC; Friendship Public Charter School|
“Community fields are the pillars of neighborhoods across the country, places where families can ‘play 60’ together in a safe environment, said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We are pleased to join with LISC and our teams to provide young people with access to quality playing fields.”
“Health and safety in sports should be a priority at every level,” said NFLPA Executive Director DEMAURICE SMITH. “The field improvements made by this important program will be a tremendous benefit active youth across the country. The players of the NFL also applaud these nonprofits for their work to better our communities.”
The NFL Grassroots Program is administrated by the NFL Youth Football Fund and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support corporation. The program has resulted in the construction or renovation of 256 football fields nationwide since its inception. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
Additionally, USA Football, the national governing body for youth and amateur football and Official Youth Football Development Partner of the NFL, will provide youth football leagues scheduled to use the refurbished fields with health and safety information, coaching certification courses, and safety background checks for coaches and volunteers to help improve their programs and operations.
“Building sustainable communities – good places to live, work, do business and raise families – is a priority for LISC,” said MICHAEL RUBINGER, LISC’s president and CEO. “Developing recreational facilities is a key part of that, and the NFL and the NFL Players Association have been committed partners in making it happen.”
About the NFL Youth Football Fund
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund (YFF) uses football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and ensure the health of amateur football participation. Through the YFF's youth football initiatives and support programs, young athletes are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. The YFF also provides youngsters with safe and accessible places to play, as well as programs and initiatives that address the importance of proper coaching, health and safety and life skills development. For more information, visit www.nflyff.org.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $12 billion to build or rehab more than 289,000 affordable homes and develop 46 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $33.9 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.