The National Football League announced that community organizations, schools and parks in 17 cities across the country will receive grants totaling $3,050,000 to build or refurbish neighborhood football fields. The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s leading community development support organization – has committed nearly $43 million since 1998, supporting 322 projects nationwide.

This funding cycle will include new fields or field enhancements in Atlanta, Georgia, Baltimore, Maryland, Buffalo, New York, Capitol Heights, Maryland, Clymer, Pennsylvania, Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Michigan, Houston, Texas, Jacksonville, Florida, Kansas City, Missouri, Long Island City, New York, Los Angeles, California, Oakland, California, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Tempe, Arizona and York, South Carolina.

Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

“These field refurbishments will ensure athletes have a safe place to come together, play with friends and enjoy the many benefits sports offer,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The NFL Foundation and LISC remain committed to improving the quality and accessibility of fields for communities nationwide.”

In an effort to incorporate and improve health and safety on community football fields, the NFL Foundation and LISC have collaborated with USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States. Each year, applicants who demonstrate a willingness to provide for continuing maintenance and field safety and who seek to involve youth football programs that are part of the USA Football Heads Up Football initiative, are given special consideration.

In addition to the grants awarded by the NFL Foundation and LISC, ESPN is donating $100,000 to be used by grantees in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Jacksonville, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.

“Our mission at LISC is to help build healthy and resilient communities of opportunity and choice – good places to live, work, do business, visit and raise families,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO. “Developing quality recreational assets and experiences is a key part of that journey and the NFL has been a committed partner in making that happen.”

About the NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: NFLFoundation.org.

About LISC: LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $16.2 billion to build or rehab more than 348,000 affordable homes and develop 56 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $48.5 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit http://www.lisc.org.

About ESPN Corporate Citizenship: ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplift the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to http://www.espn.com/citizenship.

Advertisements