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NFL, Packers Commit $100,000 Grant To Build Football Field At Bradley Tech

Posted Nov 11, 2003

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School (Bradley Tech), the first new Milwaukee public high school to be built in the last 30 years, will now have a football field, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from the National Football League's Grassroots program.

The grant, announced today by the NFL and the Green Bay Packers, is included in $1.5 million in new awards that the program is making to community groups for field rehabilitation in 11 cities.

The central city high school -- it admitted its first class in September -- replaced the 95-year-old Milwaukee Tech High School, which had a great athletic reputation.

The new school was built on the athletic fields of the old school, which is slated for demolition. Once it's gone, the new football field will be built on the site of the former high school building. Since construction on the new school began three years ago, student athletic teams have been bused to other locations for sporting events.

"The new field at the new Bradley Tech will be a tangible sign of our Youth Football Fund in action," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "The Youth Football Fund supports all aspects of youth football from participation, to coaching and to improving of playing fields."

In addition to Bradley Tech, the nearby Vieau K-8 Public School will use the field, as will 45 students enrolled in Project Excel Day Treatment Program across the street from Bradley. During weekends and evenings, the sports area will double as an urban park for the largely Hispanic community in surrounding neighborhoods.

The NFL Grassroots Program is part of the NFL Youth Football Fund, a $150 million fund established by the NFL and the NFL Players Association to support youth football initiatives in numerous ways.

Since 1998, the program has provided nearly $10 million in grants and helped community organizations rebuild 100 football fields in more than 40 depressed urban neighborhoods.

The Grassroots Program is a joint venture among the NFL, NFLPA and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the country's leading community development support organization.

The NFL, NFLPA and LISC identify local non-profit, neighborhood-based agencies in each city, which are provided with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of football fields in their local schools, parks and neighborhoods.

The local groups then oversee the construction, maintenance, and programming of the fields.

"Community-based development has gone far beyond housing to include health care, education, safe streets programs, economic development initiatives and, thanks to the NFL, the creation of quality football fields in many of our nation's most disadvantaged neighborhoods," said Michael Rubinger, LISC's president and CEO.

Other communities receiving NFL awards during this funding round are: Buffalo, Cambridge, Mass., Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City (2), Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

Football fields will be built or significantly renovated with such improvements as the installation of new irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards and goal posts.

"The NFL and NFL Players Association are proud to assist communities where young people aspire to play football," said Gene Upshaw, executive director of NFLPA. "This program allows us to make an immediate impact in neighborhoods where assistance is most needed."

About The NFL Youth Football Fund

In 1998, the NFL Youth Football Fund was established by the NFL in collaboration with the NFL Players Association. The fund promotes positive youth development while insuring the health and future of football at the grassroots level.

The $150 million fund has supported numerous programs aimed at strengthening America's youth football movement. The NFL has many youth programs underwritten by the fund, such as NFLHS.com and Junior Player Development.

Innovative and effective youth football programs have resulted from teaming up with the National Football Foundation on the Coaching Academy and Play It Smart programs, and LISC on the NFL Grassroots program.

The league's National Youth Football partners also include the Amateur Athletic Union, American Youth Football, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Centers Association, National Police Athletic League, National Recreation & Park Association, Pop Warner Little Scholars, and YMCA of the USA.

The NFL's Local Agency Grant Programs have enabled young people across the country to participate in flag and tackle football.

Through their varied youth football development initiatives, NFL teams have given youngsters access to numerous quality programs.

About LISC

Established in 1980, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is the nation's largest nonprofit supporter and funder of community development activities.

With nearly 25 years of proven strategies for investing and turning around high-risk neighborhoods, LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic assistance to provide community development corporations with the necessary resources to revitalize underserved communities.

Through 2,300 funders and donors, LISC has raised over $4.5 billion and built or rehabilitated 128,000 affordable homes and 20 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. LISC has offices in 38 urban communities and rural programs in 37 states. For additional information about LISC, visit www.liscnet.org.

 
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