Columbia Field, just off Cecil B. Moore Avenue between 10th and 11th streets, was built in 1970. But it wasn’t until the Blackhawks youth football team, which uses the field, won the National Pop Warner Pee Wee Championship in 2010 that the city decided to renovate it. In fact, Mayor Nutter promised the team a new field after the victory.
Four years later, the Mayor has kept his promise.
“I am extremely proud of these athletes for being engaged in team sports, staying out of trouble and having fun because that is what being a kid is about,” said Mayor Nutter at a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this week.
The field will be used by the Blackhawks Althletic Club, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, and other members of the community.
The renovations included fresh paving around the perimeter of the field, replacing the grass with artificial turf, and new goal posts and a scoreboard.
“It was a long time coming, the Mayor made a promise in 2010, and now in 2014 we have a new field, in conjunction with St. Josephs Prep, that benefits both programs and the North Philadelphia community,” said Derrick Williams, who was head coach of the Blackhawks in 2010.
Part of the wait came from the difficulty in assembling the $2.5 million needed to make the renovations. The funding came from six different sources, including:
- The Mayor’s Office – $1.8 million;
- St. Joe’s Prep – $400,000;
- Philadelphia Water Department – $265,000;
- Philadelphia Eagles/LISC – $200,000;
- City Council President Darrell Clarke – $100,000; and
- Philadelphia Parks and Recreation – $100,000.
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