“Take the Field” Initiative opens three public athletic fields in underserved areas, funded by public-private resources

Chicago Park District to Waives Field Fees for Community Youth Groups


The Chicago Park District will be joined by hundreds of Chicago-area children, a consortium of public-private donors and elected officials to celebrate the Grand Openings of three new artificial turf athletic fields Saturday, Oct. 15.

The “Take the Field” initiative joins public and private resources to build 10 artificial turf athletic fields throughout the City of Chicago, three of which open on Saturday.  Partners for those include the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, Allstate (Humboldt Park), Finnegan Family/Teach for America (Cornell Square Park) and Bears Care (Jackson Park).  The celebrations will include soccer clinics hosted by the Urban Initiatives soccer program at Humboldt and Cornell Square Parks, and scrimmage flag football games coached by Chicago Bears players at Jackson Park Field.

The Grand Openings will take place at the following times and locations:

* 12:30 p.m.     Humboldt Park, Allstate Field, 1400 N. Sacramento Ave.

    (Supported by Allstate)

*         1:45 p.m. Cornell Square Park, Teach for America Field, 1809 W. 50th St.

        (Supported the Finnegan Family)

*   3 p.m. Jackson Park Field, Jackson Park Field, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave. (Supported by Bears Care

Over the next three years “Take the Field” will result in the construction of 10 public artificial turf athletic fields located in underserved and geographically diverse Chicago parks.  Supported through private and foundation funds, the initiative will enable all fields to be built privately.  Recognizing the importance of these fields to local communities, the Chicago Park District will waive permit fees for during specific times throughout the week for youth and community groups that meet eligibility requirements.

Each athletic field will feature an all-weather surface and lighting that will allow the field to be used 9 months out of the year.  At least three of the fields will be lined for both soccer and football.  

The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation has committed to donate up to $5 million on a 1:1 matching basis. To date, $7.9 million has been dedicated to the program thanks to its partners.

In addition to those opening Saturday, design and construction is underway at Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave. (Sacks Field, supported by the Sacks Family); La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave. (LaFollette Park Field, supported by Bears Care and the Parkways Foundation); and Pasteur Park, 5825 S. Kostner Ave. (Chicago Fire Soccer Club Field, supported by Chicago Fire).   

Planning for phase two sites will begin in 2012 and includes Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St.; Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marshfield Ave.; Dunbar Park, 300 E. 31st St.; and Rowan Park, 11546 S. Avenue L.