June 1, 2006
Charlotte, NC - The Carolina Panthers has awarded the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department a $200,000 matching grant to help build a new synthetic turf sports field at Revolution Park, 2661 Barringer Drive. This grant is made through Carolina Panthers Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund.
The synthetic turf field will be used primarily by the Police Athletic League, which sponsors 16 teams for Pop Warner Football. It will also be used for Punt, Pass, and Kick competitions, and for rugby, soccer, and lacrosse. Park and Recreation believes construction can start this month with the field ready for play by October 1. Total cost is expected to be about half a million dollars.
Existing athletic fields at Revolution Park are heavily used and often have to be shut down in late summer for maintenance and reseeding. Synthetic turf requires less maintenance and can sustain more play under all weather conditions, all year. This field will also be located beside a new regional recreation center, now in planning stages, often referred to as a "sports and learning academy." This building has a $10-million budget and is expected to include amenities such as a new golf club house, indoor track, computer learning center, classrooms, offices, daycare, and rooms for community use.
While synthetic turf costs more to install, these fields pay for themselves in about seven years through savings. Synthetic turf does not have to be mowed, fertilized, trimmed, aerated, reseeded, or sprayed for weeds. Each field can also save up to 800,000 gallons of water a year for irrigation. Synthetic turf produced 43 percent fewer serious injuries in a five year study conducted by West Texas A&M University.
The Panthers plan to provide several programs at the field to support youth football activities.
"Public/private partnerships with groups like the Carolina Panthers allow us to expand opportunities for quality sports and recreation in our community," said Wayne Weston, Director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department.
"The Carolina Panthers are excited to join forces with Mecklenburg County to provide this new resource for children in our community," said Riley Fields, Director of Community Relations for the Carolina Panthers. "It is our privilege to be part of the effort to provide youth players with a top-rated playing surface to promote youth health and fitness."