Philadelphia, August 12, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter gathered with city officials and community members to announce plans to restore the field located at 11th Street & Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia. The $2.5 million restoration project is the result of a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, St. Joseph’s Prep, the Philadelphia Eagles and The Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
Built in 1970, the 11th & Cecil B. Moore field is the home field of The Blackhawks Athletic Club. After the Blackhawks youth football team won the Pop Warner Pee Wee National Championship in 2010, Mayor Nutter made a promise to the team that he would work to get them a new field.
“I am proud to announce that the City and its partners have come together to turn the promise of a new field for the Blackhawks into reality,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through their hard work, the Blackhawks players, coaches, parents and community have earned the restoration of this field. On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, I thank all of our partners for working together to see this project through to completion.”
The grass field will be replaced with new artificial turf, which will cover the entire playing surface, including the baseball field in the Southeast corner of the lot. New field goal posts and a scoreboard will be installed, as well as new paving, fencing, and landscaping. The restrooms and lockers rooms will also be renovated.
“We would like to thank the Philadelphia Recreation Advisory Council, St. Joe’s Prep, LISC and the community for their vision and desire to provide a home for the Blackhawk Athletic Club. The Eagles are fortunate to be part of a restoration project that will ultimately provide our city’s youth with a new field for play and recreation,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski. “This will be a field that we will all be proud of and we hope that it inspires kids of all ages to live out their dreams.”
\ The St. Joes Prep athletic teams will share the renovated field with the Blackhawks and community members. Additionally, they plan to be a neighborhood partner by providing athletic clinics and camps, as well as mentoring for local athletes and coaches.
“We are proud to continue our tradition as an anchor in our community and help transform this field into a vibrant space for the Blackhawks and other teams,” says Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., President of St. Joseph’s Prep. “The Prep has been a neighborhood resource since the 1880s and this athletic field project is just another example of our commitment to North Philadelphia. We look forward to the opportunity, through our coaches and student-athletes, to work with young people who will become community leaders on and off the field.”
The Blackhawks Athletic Club was established in 1969. There are currently over 300 children registered in the football program, which encompasses 6 teams & several weight classes. The Blackhawks also have teams in basketball and baseball, and their cheerleading squad is the LYAA Mitey Mites Cheerleading Champions.
“The Blackhawks Athletic Club looks forward to the new AstroTurf field for this will enhance our program and give the youth we serve the opportunity to play football and compete successfully” said Don Richardon, BlackHawks Head Football Coach.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is the City department that is most engaged in the lives of residents and visitors alike on a daily basis. Through its programs, policies and physical amenities, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation promotes the well being of the City, its citizens and visitors, by offering beautiful natural landscapes and parks, historically significant resources, high quality recreation centers and athletic programs, along with enriching cultural and environmental programs. Visit phila.gov/recreation for more information.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA LOCAL SUPPORT INITIATIVES CORPORATION
Philadelphia LISC is a local program of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, (LISC), a national non-profit development organization dedicated to transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable communities of choice and opportunity. Philadelphia LISC works with Community Development Organizations (CDCs), to provide the tools and programs needed to initiate positive change and transform neighborhoods into healthy, vibrant communities.
ABOUT ST. JOSEPH’S PREPARATORY SCHOOL
St. Joseph’s Preparatory School is a Catholic, urban, college preparatory school for boys in Philadelphia. In the tradition of the Jesuit priests who founded the school, the Prep’s mission is to develop the minds, hearts and souls of young men in their pursuit of becoming Men for and with Others. For more information, go to www.sjprep.org.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS ATHLETIC CLUB
The Club attempts to provide our youth with an appreciation of their worth and a commitment to excellence. The Blackhawks Athletic Club will firmly implant and develop the youths of our community these principles; good character, courage, responsibility, fair play, sportsmanship, respect for rules
and regulations, as well as high educational expectations. This mission can only be achieved through parental and community partnerships; providing supervised competitive sports activities.